The Story of Building Calm Sleep - Constructing a global app from India


Hey there! This is going to be a series of blogs covering how we came up with the idea of Calm Sleep, scaled it to over 700,000 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: Calm Sleep. 🤗


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. Here’s a preview of what you can expect from this series:


Article 1: How we came up with the idea of Calm Sleep. 💭

Here, I am going to cover:

  1. Why we decided to build Calm Sleep over the other ideas we had. We had many ideas we felt passionate about, so why build this one?

  2. The playbook on how to do research before jumping on any idea. 📋

Article 2: How we shipped our MVP in 15 days 🚅

Here, I am going to cover:

  1. How to identify the most critical user journeys

  2. How to avoid the “problem of plenty” in your MVP.

  3. How will we know if this is working?

  4. A final checklist to launch the MVP.


Article 3: The initial learnings from our launch.. How we dealt with early failure and how we overcame it 😕

Here, I am going to cover:

  1. How we got our first 1000 users?

  2. Our Day 1 retention was super low. What was our response?

  3. What were the early bad signs?

  4. What were the early good signs?


Article 4: How we used a North-Star metric to guide product decisions 🔢

Here, I am going to cover:

  1. How did we decide on our North-Star metric?

  2. The strategy that could help us bolster this metric.


Article 5: How we improved our retention from Day 1 ~20% to 40%? 🚀

Here, I am going to cover:

  1. How we identified what’s missing.

  2. What features we launched that helped boost the retention.

  3. What was the role of data analysis in moving the numbers?


Article 6: How we leapfrogged our Day 1 retention to 70%.

Here, I am going to cover:

  1. When your users tell you what to build.

  2. On the journey of building new things, we forgot one most important thing.

  3. How we activated the dormant users.


Some more articles will be published as and when we are ready to release more updates. Broadly, they will cover:

  • When did we get to know it’s working. :D

  • How a 2-day hackathon led to 20,000 installs

  • The first step towards monetization.

Continuing with building in public..

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