Found this Quora post about How Udemy got to 5,000 courses and I found their seeding of the marketplace and content creation process interesting.
The lessons for any marketplace business
– Seed the supply first; its extremely hard to get early adopters without users.
– Create some initial success stories however you can. Don’t focus on too many; 1 or 2 is enough.
– Figure out how to promote their successes to more people. Your supply side will start to multiply.
– If you get this far, you’ll know what to do next.
No one wants to the be first to the party and unfortunately, marketplaces like Amazon are self-perpetuating. You can’t get exposure or better placement on the never ending list of products until you get more views, purchases, or reviews but you can’t get traffic, conversions, or feedback because no one can find your listing! Super annoying.
The only way to jump start this process is to introduce something from outside the system. For Daily Deals, I recommend using your network of family, friends, facebook, linkedin, etc on 15 Daily Deal Tips. Here Udemy did what any smartup would have done, just rolled up their sleeves and hacked it . They used
commons-licensed courses on the internet as part of the OpenCourseWare movement. [They] legally obtained these videos and posted them on Udemy.
On top of this they used outsourced VAs or virtual assistants to find leads, then a member of the Udemy team would contact them and close the deal. Similar to the Predictable Revenue model – the OG of Sales Hacks.
Then they used Initial Success Stories, basically a form of Reviews to get more. Reviews on Amazon are extremely valuable for the same reason. They are self perpetuating. Reviews anywhere searchable on Google is like gold.
Udemy hacked content creation by introducing something from outside their system to jump start the wave of early adopters they had.
If you don’t know much about Growth Hacking. Check out some definitions that I compiled together here.