Onboarding new users requires balancing user experience with the friction of customer eduction and data gathering to prevent churn and retain more users.
In the end, the right kind of onboarding for your site depends on your business model—and the answers to a few important questions:
What do you need to know about your users to provide them with a great experience?What do they need to do to get hooked on using your service?What are the costs and benefits of adding friction to your onboarding process?How will you motivate users to complete it?At what point in your users’ lifecycle does onboarding need to be completed?What actions must your users take regularly for your company to profit?
There have been numerous criticisms of the hype cycle, prominent among which are that it is not a cycle, that the outcome does not depend on the nature of the technology itself, that it is not scientific in nature, and that it does not reflect changes over time in the speed at which technology develops.
Before building that network/platform/marketplace MVP solution, consider starting by building a tool for your customers. Your execution will be easier, chance of failure will be lower, and you can build your $B network later.
First, recognize that for every one of these examples there are 10,000 others who tried starting as a network and never got started for the reasons I list above. These companies capitalized on massive emerging market trends that looked crazy at first. How can you trust buying things from strangers online? What can you possibly say in 140 characters? Who would ever let strangers sleep in their house? You get the idea.
Second, bootstrapping is probably not a viable option. Networks take money.
Third, look for ways to start ultra, ultra niche: one small geographic region, one product or transaction type. It will go a long way to simplifying your execution.