The Non Obvious Keys to Successfully Launching a Social App

As observed by the launch of the List app
  1. Identify a behavior that lots of people already do and make it public and permanent
    Kottke's law...The list app recognized that people loved consuming lists, but there was no central place to create/share them (although many had tried before)
  2. Enable the creation of a unique type of content
    A filtered photo, a clever quip easily shared...what new element are you adding to the Internet ecosystem?
  3. Assemble a list of interesting people that others want to follow
    List knocked this out of the park. Even as an early adopter when I connected my Twitter account, pretty much all of the most interesting people (and many unexpected celebrity surprises) already had an account available. Note - this takes time! Seems like the app has been in private beta for at least a half a year. How many startups have that type of patience to gather an interesting community?
  4. Make content consumption as low friction as possible
    The way lists are previewed on the home feed is subtly brilliant. Just the first few items are shown, long descriptions are hidden - making the content feel approachable and easily consumable.
  5. Offer consumable bits of information - that is also easily expandable
    Lists by their nature are bite sized information snacks. But the ability to add longer per item descriptions, photos, etc...mean that complexity and depth are available if you want it.
  6. Sweat the details!
    Given the long time in beta, guessing the app underwent a ton of revision. Would love to learn more about how the product evolved over time.
  7. What else am I missing?
    @kaz (or here) with suggestions