Fluent is part of a new generation of venture-scale businesses growing on Chrome’s extension platform. Gavin talks about how this trend has progressed:
Honey and Grammarly, the giants in our space have proven that you can make these venture capital scale hypergrowth businesses in the Chrome extension ecosystem. People spend three and a half hours a day on their computers in their desktop, in their browser.
The trend is towards almost everything being in the browser. So yeah, the space is super promising.
He also talks about how they acquired early users in two ways. First, by getting involved in communities of customers actively trying to solve a problem:
What’s been successful for us has been targeting language learning communities on Discord, Facebook, and Reddit. Because so many language learners are seeking communities out to stay accountable, as these communities grow Fluent grows with them.
And by building a product that is so novel, virality is baked in:
What’s really cool is Fluent almost has virality baked into it. Because it’s a new approach to learning people are really excited to share it.
He talks about how founding Fluent has been a great learning experience:
I will say that this entire journey has been crazy cool in the sense that there’s no other thing I’ve done where I’ve learned so quickly. It’s kind of like learning like you’re drinking through a fire hose. I wouldn’t really recognize my own thought process processes even six months ago and that’s incredibly fascinating to me. I, I love that so much.
And how having successful founder friends made it all possible:
when you’re doing something completely new and beating a new path for yourself it’s so easy to get caught up in the anxiety of the unknown. It’s so easy to get sidetracked or almost even be paralyzed, even if you think you’re moving quickly. And one thing that comes out from talking to people and friending people, who’ve done it before is they’ve been down that path before. Because they’ve done it, you can do it too. It almost, not really gives you permission, but gives you the confidence that it’s possible and the confidence to not just do it okay, but do it extremely quickly without the worry and the anxieties, because someone that you’re close to has done it before. You just don’t have to be held back by your own fears.
You can read or listen to the full conversation here