When Feeling Stressed or Overwhelmed - I Talk to Users

I love what I do and can’t imagine anything that I am better at or more suited to doing. But being a Startup Founder is an intense journey. There are so many crucial things to do at any one moment that it can become overwhelming at times.

When I feel overly busy, stressed, or overwhelmed, I find myself reaching for my phone. Not to totally escape and scroll through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feeds (though I do do that sometimes too… who doesn’t?), but to talk to users of Party with a Local.

How I Talk to Users

We then often continue the chat — it’s a great way to connect with our community on a personal level, to learn key insights that help improve our platform, and meet (virtually, at least at first) some really interesting people around the world. Later we meet many of our users in person using the app or at the events we run.

Scalable? Not really. Literally one of the best things we do as a company? Hell Yes!


  • Users feel personally welcomed by the team and enjoy talking to everyone on the team, including the Founder. Not many apps do that.
  • Users give their immediate feedback while using product (feedback that we listen to and we learn from).
  • Users help us discover really useful insights. We learn so much from talking to our users — from feature ideas to bugs to hearing great stories of their experiences using the app. An example of something really useful we discovered to help us grow — we recently started asking users in chat how they found the app (of course we’re tracking this on a bunch of analytics tools too, but they don’t always tell the full story), and we were a bit surprised to find that around 35% of people are finding us through searching on Google for things like ‘meet new people in X city’ ‘what to do tonight in Y city’ etc. This is despite the fact we had barely any text content on our website and haven’t focused on it as a channel. So we’ve identified a big opportunity to up our SEO game on the website and attract even more people who are searching for something just like Party with a Local.

Why it helps me when I’m stressed or overwhelmed:

Hearing from users who love the app really motivates me to keep going and push through challenges. I come back to my other crucial tasks with a renewed enthusiasm and an overall calming feeling that we are on the right path.

When I said in my Techstars Demo Day pitch that ‘we hear daily how much people love the app, and how beyond great nights out, it has literally changed their lives.’ This wasn’t a grandstanding throwaway line I used to impress the crowd — it’s actually true!

Here’s a few chats I read from people yesterday (and we all get these sort of chats everyday):

Of course scalability becomes a challenge with talking to users like this, which we are already tackling with Chat Bots, but this is honestly one of the best things we do and I would recommend other startups do too.

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Father & Family 1st. Founder & CEO of PartyWith (Techstars ’17) — Bringing People Together