Design for the few
How do you design a product that is going to be used by a lot of people?
In a Masters of Scale podcast episode, Brian Chesky of AirBnb explains some advice he was given when starting out.
And the first day of Y Combinator, Paul Graham said something to us. He said, it's better to have a hundred people love you than to have a million people that just sort of like you. Because a hundred people that love you will tell their friends about you, and then they'll tell their friends, they'll tell their friends, and they become your marketing. And the reason that's great is because it's a lot easier to design for a hundred people than a million people. How do you know what a million people want? It's pretty hard. But you could study one person.
This approach means you can focus on what is important to a more easily defined set of consumers. It also aligns with the approach that proposes you should focus on a niche and, as Pat Flynn puts it, build a set of "Superfans". These are people that will use and promote everything you do and provide your marketing by word of mouth.