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Path co-founder Dave Morin: 'Why Are We Doing This?'

Adoption was slow when Path--now a fast-growing mobile social network--first launched. Here's how it turned around.

Path co-founder Dave Morin: 'Why Are We Doing This?'

Adoption was slow when Path--now a fast-growing mobile social network--first launched. Here's how it turned around.

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Video Transcript

00:07 Dave Morin: The people who are telling you this, and you respect them, and you worry that maybe your idea of how to build these things is wrong.

In 2010, Dave Morin co-founded Path, a fast-growing social network on mobile devices.

It was released in November 2010.

00:24 Morin: We spent a fair amount of time preparing to launch the product to the world and we're very excited about it because we had experienced how great the product was ourselves. But it was our first time really building anything for mobile devices. We had basically bet the company on this idea that mobile is the future and that we didn't need to build a website. And we launched the first version and the press was, I would say, 50% good 50% bad.

At first, Path did not gain as many users as the founders hoped.

01:08 Morin: We were able to garner a few hundred thousand downloads. But the real traction, the daily active users, the weekly active users, they were about 10,000 daily active users, but it wasn't anything necessarily to write home about. It's not nothing, but it's not great. And so, we started to experience a lot of very negative feedback. It was extremely hard. We had investors asking questions. We had the different parts of the media. Some people believed.

01:50 Morin: Generally, people who were users of the product were actually on our side, but we had a lot of folks who were sort of really skeptical and rightly so, we went through a period of time where we were listening a lot to what everybody else was saying and a lot of the advice that everybody else was giving. We went through that period. We tried a few things. We released a few small updates. Different things that we thought might increase the growth, might increase the engagements with the product, but none of it was really working as well as the theories said it would. And so, at one point, my co-founder and I were sitting there and saying to ourselves, "Why are we doing this?" And we looked at each other and we sort of said, "Well, the best products are designed by people who are designing something for themselves."

In the summer of 2011, Dave and his co-founder, Dustin Mierau, presented a plan to the board to redesign and simplify the mobile social network.

The board gave unanimous approval.

02:54 Morin: What it did was give us the time and the ability to sort of take a bigger risk. And I think that that set us up for, really, the success that we ultimately ended up having with Path 2. We were trying to create a future and to simplify it so that the most people in the world can use it and it can impact the most people and that process just takes a lot of time. And through the staying true to your vision and to your values, I think that if you look to those, in any situation, then probably on the other side, you'll come out okay.

To date, Path has been downloaded more than 3 million times.

In April, Path raised $30 million in Series B funding, which reportedly valued Path at $250 million.

Last updated: Sep 6, 2012