Who Said What? 

Nikita Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza, and Nicolas Ducdodon were curious what would happen if you incorporated anonymity to social media groups.  Acquired by Facebook in 2017.

A compliments-focused social network targeted towards teens where they would anonymously answer questions about each other.

On the bustling landscape of the App Store, where thousands of apps are uploaded daily, it takes something truly exceptional to captivate users and gain traction. Among the sea of hopefuls, tbh emerged as a standout, defying the odds and garnering a loyal following. What set tbh apart was its creators' hands-on approach to acquiring users, a strategy that yielded remarkable results from the very beginning.

Two days after its launch, tbh's creators took a bold step by showcasing the app at a school in Georgia. The response was nothing short of astounding, with a staggering 40% of the school's population downloading the app on the first day alone. The buzz around tbh started to spread like wildfire, as young users not only embraced the app but also actively encouraged their friends to join the phenomenon. tbh fostered this organic growth by imposing a sense of exclusivity, limiting users to sharing only 30 invites, a scarcity that only intensified the app's allure. It didn't take long for tbh to become a trending search on the App Store, marking a remarkable ascent within a remarkably short period.

Five days after its initial release, tbh broke into the coveted top 100 rankings on the App Store, securing an impressive 77th position across all categories in the US. However, the journey to the top was not without its challenges. The team understood the need to sustain the app's virality and prevent it from fading into obscurity. After releasing a transformative app update, which encompassed design enhancements and introduced enticing new features, on September 15th, tbh claimed the coveted number one spot across all categories on the App Store–a triumph that resonated throughout the industry.

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Nikita Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza, & Nicolas Ducdodon

FOUNDERS

Nikita Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza, & Nicolas Ducdodon

Behind every success story lies a tale of determination and resilience, and the founders of tbh are no exception. The parent company, Midnight Labs, had its humble beginnings in 2010, venturing into the world of app development. Over the years, they crafted a personal finance app, a college chat app, and even a personality app, but none of these projects gained significant traction. Despite the setbacks, the team persevered, driven by an unwavering belief in their potential.

In 2013, the company secured funding from venture capitalists, enabling them to continue their pursuit of innovative apps. However, as 2017 approached, financial challenges loomed large, leaving them with a mere 60 days of cash reserves. It was at this critical juncture that inspiration struck. Drawing upon the success of Sararah's feedback feature and the anonymous nature of platforms like Yik Yak and Secret, the founders embarked on a new endeavor—the creation of tbh.

This inspiring journey serves as a testament to the tenacity required to achieve monumental success. It echoes the struggles faced by the developers behind Angry Birds, who endured a staggering 51 failed games before striking gold with their smash hit. Similarly, tbh's founders toiled for years, overcoming obstacles and setbacks, before ascending to internet stardom. Their story serves as a powerful reminder that even in an industry dominated by prominent players, small social networking apps can make an indelible mark on the world stage.

 

“Everything seems like an overnight success in Silicon Valley, but it was tough. I got really good at shutting down apps, really good at failing.”
-Nikita

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→ How to Build a Viral App
→ How This App Went From Launch To A $100 Million Acquisition By Facebook In 73 Days Flat

Delve deeper into the world of Machine-to-Machine Learning through our other inspiring articles or discover why we're also passionate about Human Machine Interaction and Biological Machines.

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