A chat with the Managing Director of Lightspeed Venture Partners
Your instincts aren't enough.
Users will tell you what they love. Sometimes it doesn't make sense at first, but you have to make sense of it.
Try, try, try again.
But if it still isn't absolutely, positively, over-the-top working by then, then give up. In consumer there is enough luck involved that you can't just will your way to success
Best growth comes from true word-of-mouth
i.e. One person leaning over to another, and saying "have you seen this? You have to try it" and helping them install it on their phone.
The path to becoming popular
Strong engagement, retention and growth predict the potential to be a home screen app. And if you're a home screen app for enough people, you'll become part of popular culture
Young women are the most important predictors of pop culture
Pay attention to what they are doing today because everyone will be doing it eventually. Young women, not the tech elites, are the new early adopters.
Some Life Advice:
If you already know what you want to be when you "grow up"
Don't delay, don't take prepatory steps, just go do it. The best training for anything is doing that thing.
If you don't know what you want to do
Find the greatest, most impressive person that will have you, and join them in whatever they are doing.