Top 5 Learnings of Growing Poparide From 50,000 to 250,000 Members

In May 2017, we published the article “From 2 to 50,000 members” where we talked about how we started Poparide and grew it to 50,000 members (it only takes two to start a movement).

Fast forward a couple of years and we now have over 250,000 members sharing our mission of making travel more social, affordable and sustainable for everyone in Canada.

We thought this would be a good opportunity to share our top 5 learnings in this journey and help fellow entrepreneurs and innovators with their aspirations to grow their own businesses.

1. Learn to say “no”

As you grow, there are many, many people who will submit new projects and ideas to try to influence your business. In our experience, a lot of this external influence is a big distraction because those who are the best qualified to run and grow the business are the ones working in the business. With time, we’ve learned to say “no” and stay focused on our core mission of filling empty seats and helping people travel together.

2. Quality, not quantity

Mo money, mo problems! We couldn’t agree more. As we saw the volume of bookings increase on Poparide, more people started cheating, defrauding us, threatening legal action and generally not following the rules. We focused a lot of our time building internal tools to detect potential issues and crafted new policies to deal with the bad apples. This allowed us to upkeep the quality of our community and ultimately, get more members to refer our service to their friends, and grow.

3. Keep building value

You are never done with building your company, and you should always keep building value for your customers to ensure they stick around (retention is everything). Every quarter, we take a step back and look at things we could do to move the needle and create growth, then prioritise heavily our features and marketing to ensure we are constantly providing more value to our members.

4. Be patient

It takes time to build something great but it’s very hard and a lot people give up along the way. Rome wasn’t built in a day! In this journey, we’ve learned to be patient and to measure our progress in the long term, something which is hard in a world where instant gratification and dopamine hits are so prominent in your day-to-day. Building a great business that will be around for a long time is not a sprint, but a marathon!

5. Don’t take it too seriously!

Starting and growing a business is a long, tiring process, with lots of ups and downs. To get through it, we make sure to not take ourselves too seriously and to celebrate the wins and most importantly, to have fun doing it! If Barack was able to make time for fun during his two terms as president, you can do it too 🙂

Next article on this topic: when we reach 500,000 members. Help us get there by sharing this blog post and referring your friends to Poparide.

A big thank you to our team, our members and our friends and family for supporting us through this journey – we couldn’t do it without you!