I hear that question all the time. And I have finally made my peace with it. User growth is good. However, obsessing over user growth in a product under development is bad because it breeds unhealthy stress and leads to shortsighted decisions.
I read an interesting interview from Eric Schmidt months ago. In it, he mentioned that early on, Google deemphasized user growth. If Google was making noticeable improvements in its product month to month, why should Google go for users today? Why not grab them more easily at a later point?
I am adopting a similar mindset with Spokeo. We planned two major features today, both of which will greatly improve Spokeo in the future. I see growth as much more natural with each successive Spokeo release. The market is not closing up anytime soon, and we have no external pressure, so why not maintain a product focus? As the saying goes, the product is the marketing. As proof, our conversion rate increased 3x when we released our new skin yesterday.
Once again, user growth is still good for all the obvious reasons. We still need to get the word out. We just can’t benchmark ourselves against all the typical success stories when our product is unfinished.