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How did we know it's working? 😇

Updated: Jan 30

Welcome back to my weekly newsletter. This is going to be a series of blogs covering how we came up with the idea of Calm Sleep, scaled it to over a million users in less than a year with less than a $1,000 total investment. 🌱

I’m Akshay Pruthi, an entrepreneur who loves to build products from the ground up. Over the past 6 years, I have built multiple products from scratch and scaled them to millions of users. This is my attempt to share our most important lessons from building one of those apps: Alora (Android) and Alora (iOS)  🤗

Note - Calm Sleep is my side hustle that I started with Ankur Warikoo, Anurag Dalia, and a team of 3.

Every week I will publish an article about a different problem we faced while building Calm Sleep.

Last week, we discussed how we just killed it by taking our North-Star metric to 57% which led to Day 1 retention of 70%. This article is dedicated to the community feedback we received which gave us an indication that we are onto something.

We had started receiving love emails and ratings. When your users write emails to you saying they would want to pay for such a product, you know you’ve made it! 🙃

We had grown to 15k Daily active users.

Even though our new installs were stagnant at a range of 2.5k to 3k a day, we were seeing an increase in our DAU which meant people were staying on the app and gaining tremendous value out of it. We had users from all over the world, the majority coming from the US, UK and Australia.

We were thinking, what more can we do to provide more value to the users.

We were doing constant analysis on what kind of sounds people are listening to.

Broad Problem Statement: How do we drive more value to the users?

Approach: Study what our power users are doing. Study their app experiences and question if we can help users reach the value proposition of the app sooner?


We made a list of top sleep sounds, stories and meditation and observed their order in the current list. We observed that the value proposition was too many clicks away.

What would an ideal journey look like? 🤔

User launches the app, gets the sleep music that will help them sleep.

What do we have today? 🤨

User launches the app, lands to sleep sounds, switches to sleep stories or meditation if they want to listen to those, and plays the sound of choice.

What if we launch a home page?

The home page will be a personalised collection to the user's most listened to sleep music, recently played, favourites and expert picks (our recommendations based on what the world is listening to).

Home page launch was important to us because this would give us a lot of room for running multiple experiments.

We were overwhelmed with the results. We witnessed a 5% improvement in our Day 1 retention after the launch of the Home page.

People were sending us constant feedback over email and PlayStore ratings. I personally used to spend 30 minutes on a daily basis to respond to all PlayStore ratings and email.. This brought me closer to my users and helped me understand their pain points.

Next week we will discuss, how did a 2-day hackathon lead to a surge in installs by 20,000?


I publish weekly blogs where I share everything I learn.
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