I studied how 100 startups got their first users. It's interesting how so many startups take entirely different paths, and yet manage to be equally successful.
Reddit's story is quite popular - they faked users and activity on the site for quite sometime till organic traction caught on. Quora on the other hand grew primarily through the high level connections that the founders built.
Even between communities of similar audiences, ProductHunt took the organic route of building a collaborative newsletter till it became big enough. Indiehackers, you can say, was from influencers. They interviewed people who the target group finds inspirational. Growth came from organic shares on HN and Twitter.
Customer support platforms - Some used outbound campaigns while the others were inbound.
Website Builders - Another interesting comparison is between Shopify and PageCloud - two website builders albeit different TG.
There are businesses that gained from similar strategies despite being completely different from one another.
What I learned is that there is no one way to grow a product. Enjoy each of these stories and pick something interesting from everything to build a growth plan for your own business
You can check the individual stories of all these startups here: https://bridgeurl.com/first-users
If you are on Twitter, please check out my tweet thread on this topic : https://twitter.com/anand_sriniv/status/1278641048106029057