For those with aspirations to create “the next big thing”, one of the biggest questions is how to grow a product from having just a few users to the hundreds and thousands.

The topic of user adoption was the focus of our second Google Sudo, a series of panels and workshops designed to help Aussie entrepreneurs. More than 170 entrepreneurs joined our event in Sydney (and many more via our Hangout on Air) to hear about how they too could scale their internet businesses and drive user adoption.

After a lively audience discussion on questions ranging from how to get your very first customer, to how much emphasis to put on marketing, to the merits of the “freemium model” we asked our panelists for their top tips on driving user adoption.

Mike Cannon-Brookes, CEO and co-founder of Atlassian advised the audience to “engineer your growth”. He stressed the importance of understanding how one user or customer leads to another.

Similarly our own Stuart McLean, Head of Google Enterprise for Australia and New Zealand (and former founder of NetReturn) spoke about the importance of having the customer be your best salesperson. “Make sure customer number one will sing your praises. Get them to help you get your next 10 customers”.

Paul Gray, CMO and Community Director, Bubble Gum Interactive, a children’s entertainment and games company, believes we all should take advantage of the knowledge and passion of your early users: “Make it easy for them to give you feedback and thank them for it”.

Lisa Frazier, Chief Innovation Officer, Equities and Margin Lending at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and founder and former President & CEO of The Bay Citizen spoke about the importance of experimenting: “Don’t be shy to try different things,” she said, but never ask your employees to do something you wouldn’t.

If you missed the live event, you can still watch it here on YouTube.

Posted by Alan Noble, Engineering Director, Google Australia and New Zealand