After my first post about The Nash Effect, I thought it would make sense to dive deeper into one specific feedback loop which will be a huge growth driver for Nash; Payments.
Nash aims to be the one-stop shop for digital assets. Since the start, the core focus of the whole team has been on building the best product that will blow out the rest. Building a product people love takes a huge amount of time, dedication and lots of iterations. I haven’t seen a lot of companies in this space who are so extremely dedicated and controlled in their way of releasing their product.
A good product sells itself they say. However, in this industry, I believe it’s not enough. It’s for sure a differentiator in the industry, but we also have to deal with certain limitations and challenges at this point in time.
- Digital assets are novel to the mainstream audience. Adoption takes time and we are ahead of the game.
- People outside this industry have a cautious mentality towards digital assets. Due to the bear market, interest and organic growth have slowed down significantly.
- There is a steep knowledge gap, mainstream lacks the know-how and thinks digital assets = bitcoin.
These are just a few of the challenges we need to deal with. The positive thing is they will be solved over time.
One objective of Nash is to reach 1 billion users by 2030. In order to achieve this, we as a community need to build interest within new audiences and educate people outside of this ‘industry’ to experience Nash products and the platform as a whole. One of the strategies to achieve more ‘outside’ interest, is to build viral loops into the product from the start.
What are viral loops?
Investor and startup advisor Andrew Chen (Head of growth@Uber/ Partner at Andreessen Horowitz) defines the ‘viral loop’ as:
“The steps a user goes through between entering the site or product to inviting the next set of new users.”
Viral growth is basically the same as word-of-mouth. However, viral loops are created by building features into the product that make sharing faster, easier or more rewarding for its users. You want to be thinking about virality right at the very beginning of the product journey.
“Virality is not a marketing strategy that can be executed by the marketing department. It has to be built into your product right from the beginning. This is a function that needs to be thought through by the product designers and developed by the engineers.” David Skok
In fact, when you look at the most successful products today – like for example Dropbox or Instagram - you’ll find virality at the core of their initial growth. But here’s the problem: Virality isn’t something you can just add to a product.
As Andrew Chen stated:
Virality is a business design problem, not a marketing or engineering effort.
To succeed with it, you must embed it into your product deeply. Ideally, it should be an integral part of the overall user experience.
Two different strategies of product virality.
There are two types of product virality. The first one is Distribution Product Virality (DPV). The other type is called Pull Product Virality (PPV).
- Distribution virality
Happens when users spread the word on a product by sharing the outcome of using it.
Example: when you’re sending an E-card through (Jib Jab), the recipients of the card, for example, see a small call to action at the bottom of the card. It prompts recipients delighted by the card they’ve just received to try out the service as well. And it works.
Hotmail was built on this viral loop - by simply including the tagline below every email:
“Get your free email at Hotmail”
Hotmail was started by Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith in July 1996. By the end of the month, Hotmail had more than 20,000 subscribers. In January 1997 the one-millionth subscriber signed up with Hotmail.
- Pull product virality (PPV)
Pull virality works in the opposite way. Instead of boosting growth by sharing the product’s outcome, this model relies on existing users to invite new people to the product, to use it together. In this model, therefore, the virality relies on new users being exposed to the value of a product by using it with others.
Products built on this growth strategy: WeChat, Dropbox, Whatsapp, Instagram, Slack.
This is personally my favorite strategy as it builds more stickiness over time and is more effective in conversion and retaining users, as the existing users (us!) are actively persuading someone to use the product. Having pull product virality also means your product has network effects as users gain value from more users joining.
The power of virality in payments
A very important reason why I believe so much in Nash’ platform, is because of payments. Payments are the ideal framework to incorporate virality and bring new users to the platform. I think most of us have been thinking of Nash payments through Dapp integration or onsite to pay with crypto in an online store for example. Although these solutions eventually will take off, I personally believe at this point in time more in peer-to-peer payments. I see payments as the ultimate gateway to bring new users (who are not in this space yet) and introduce them to Nash.
My suggestion for making Nash Payments go viral.
I’m from the Netherlands. Over here we have a payment request app called Tikkie, initiated by the ABN Amro bank. It’s a simple fiat-to-fiat payment request app; you share the payment link through WhatsApp or SMS with your friends. Nothing fancy, but it works like a charm and clearly solves a user need. In 2.5 years, more than 3 Million users in the Netherlands are using this app on a very regular basis. Innovative, but I think we can do more with Nash.
The longterm objective is mainstream adoption. So we should work on what I call: Converting your Fiat Friends. We, as Nash community, should introduce our ‘fiat friends’ to digital assets in a friendly, but persuasive way to try Nash.
Here’s how this feature will help (the viral loop):
- Let’s assume you’re having dinner with friends. Let them know you’ll pay the bill and will send them a payment request afterward.
- You open your Nash mobile app.
- Tap the Payment Request button to open up a payment request.
- You select to send the request in EUR/USD as they are still your Fiat Friends at this point.
- But you, as a Nash user, have the ability to be paid in any other preferred digital asset which will be transferred directly into your NEX wallet. Your friends pay in EUR, you get ETH (f.e.).
- You share the payment link through Whatsapp, SMS or mail with your friends.
- They land on the Nash Payment page where they can select their preferred payment provider (which are already partners of Nash anyway).
- You friends pay in fiat, you get paid in your preferred asset and after payment they see a thank you page, introducing Nash: “Join Nash now! And get your first x,y,z for free.”
- You friend registers, onboards with a great UX and a very warm welcome of the community and we’ve won over a fiat friend who will hopefully invite other ones as well.
(My own sketch, just for the purpose of explaining the idea - I’m not an UX specialist.)
I’ve suggested this feature several months ago to one of the team members (although in a less detailed way). Not sure if it’s on the roadmap, but I’d use this feature for sure.
I sent out payment requests every month a few times for tens or a few hundred euros. This will be the easiest way for me to ‘naturally’ bring extra fiat into digital assets plus winning friends over (which brings more liquidity and dividends for my staking rewards :)!
Measuring Nash viral success
We can optimize and measure the success of virality in two ways:
1.By calculating the Viral Coefficient (which should be >1)
2.By increasing and optimizing the Viral Cycle time.
It’s too much to cover this in this post, but if you’d like to learn more, read this.
Virality is a business principle that should be designed into the product from the start. It’s not a feature. However, it can be integrated on a later stage. But as Andrew said, it is a business design principle. Second, users’ needs must come first. The collective goal for a viral strategy is clear. We all want Nash to grow. But for the strategy to work, it must deliver on the users’ needs first.
This is why it’s so incredibly important to let Nash know your needs as a user. It will help push the Nash flywheel forward.
Feel free to provide feedback, like the post or let the Nash team know the feature is something you’d like to use as well.
On to the next post!