Realtime allowed anyone to spontaneously meet others IRL.
✅ Completed 26 weeks 💰 776, Sam Altman, Chad Depue, & more
Note: I joined Realtime when it was an IRL-focused product, before the team pivoted and raised VC.
With a very slim budget, Realtime presented the challenge of having a great product without many marketing dollars. The team iterated quickly, even sometimes on my advice, and the product became stickier before my eyes.
We attempted to launch at two colleges after deciding it would be the best community to onboard to our gen-z-focused IRL product. First we attempted to launch at Babson College in Wellesley MA. This was a calculated decision, but there were a few errors such as not considering how weather affects community gathering in MA-December. We quickly learned it wasn't going to go as well as we hoped, and we pivoted to Santa Clara University in sunny California.
This was also a calculated decision, Santa Clara University is an extremely social school with a very vibrant community already. Allowing them to use an app that made their lives easier was an easy pitch that was generally received well.
In the product we upgraded the UI and UX, added a Snapchat integration which served as an incredible viral loop, and created an access code barrier to make the product invite-only. Within 2 weeks of launch, ~10% of the college was using the platform, and, despite targeting an extremely small audience, the blended CPA fell below $3. Our most effective marketing experiment was a series of sponsored social events, we primarily used flyers and micro-targeted digital ads and ended up gathering 200+ people IRL each time.
Everything was going well, we had spent less than $1500 all-in, and the community was receptive to using Realtime. Unfortunately in early February we heard the tales of Corona Virus coming to the US, and Santa Clara County was ground-zero. SCU immediately shut down, and Realtime was forced to retreat and pivot.
Marketing Experiment Results