As investors and advisors in over 60 early-marketplace startups, we’ve paid close attention to what it takes to get marketplaces started.
Which comes first, the supply or the demand? Chicken or egg? We’ve noticed at least 19 distinct, executable tactics Founders can use to solve the chicken-or-egg problem.
Tactic 1: Get the hardest side first.
When the harder side (supply or demand) reaches its boiling point of activity, network effects kick in and value will be created organically for the easier side. In most markets, either supply is harder to get to participate in your marketplace or demand is. You can figure that out by testing the sales and onboarding process. Typically, whichever side is hardest is the more valuable, and once you get enough of them, the other side is 2-10X easier to bring onboard.