Vu Pham and Nick Robinson, Zero - Transitioning a Free App with Millions of Users to Subscriptions

Vu Pham and Nick Robinson, Zero - Transitioning a Free App with Millions of Users to Subscriptions

Today's guests Vu Pham and Nick Robinson share their experience transitioning the world's biggest fasting app (Zero) to subscriptions, as well as their work on other popular health apps Less and Oak. In this episode, you’ll hear about: (6:07) Zero helped create the “fasting app” category. (9:17) How Zero is scaling health advice to millions of patients; Dr. Peter Attia. (13:13) Striking a balance between free features and paywalled premium content. (25:44) Data tracking; long-term revenue goals and retention. (32:38) Balancing a mission-driven mindset with paid conversions and return on ad spend. (41:33) Business success metrics; ARR; volume vs. conversion. (46:15) Forecasting ARR with auto-renewal status; A/B tests; churn.

Today on the podcast we have two guests from Big Sky Health: Vu Pham, who works on the product team, and his colleague Nick Robinson, Chief Business Officer.

Big Sky Health was founded to help people live healthier, longer lives with the help of technology. They are currently working on 3 apps: Zero, the world's most popular fasting app, Less, an app for more mindful drinking, and Oak, a meditation and breathing app.

In this episode, you’ll hear about:

(6:07) Zero helped create the “fasting app” category.

(9:17) How Zero is scaling health advice to millions of patients; Dr. Peter Attia.

(13:13) Striking a balance between free features and paywalled premium content.

(25:44) Data tracking; long-term revenue goals and retention.

(32:38) Balancing a mission-driven mindset with paid conversions and return on ad spend.

(41:33) Business success metrics; ARR; volume vs. conversion.

(46:15) Forecasting ARR with auto-renewal status; A/B tests; churn.



Follow Us:


David Barnard: https://twitter.com/drbarnard

Jacob Eiting: https://twitter.com/jeiting

Vu Pham: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vuprofile/

Nick Robinson: https://twitter.com/njrconcepts



Zero Fasting Links:

Quotes:

“We’re in this place now where we have these small apps that are really interactive, engaging, content delivery platforms — and they allow these people with value to add to people’s lives to reach them in a way… that television, radio, books, or podcasts never could.” - Jacob


“It’s using content plus technology, forming community modes around it — but it’s all about amplifying these niche desires, these niche needs that people have. And you kind of turn into a mini TV network that’s better and it’s optimized.” - Nick


“We know a lot about you as a user, what your goals are, where you are in your health journey, and we can contextually provide content to you in the moment of need.” - Nick


“Working with RevenueCat made our steps leading up to launch a lot easier.” - Vu


“I hear this all the time from devs who are nervous about this transition. They’re always nervous about, ‘Oh, what are these people gonna say?’ And there are a lot of public examples of apps getting beat up about [monetizing], and I’m like, ‘Listen, you were subsidizing them — they really weren’t your customers. They really didn’t see the value in it that you do. It’s your product; you’re resetting where that value bar is. So if they’re upset, it’s like, ‘Well… it was good while it lasted. I’m sorry, but I’ve got to move on.” - Jacob


“[Free users] are huge vectors for growth for a business like this because those people, even if they’re not paying you dollars, they’re telling their friends, they’re using [your app], they’re engaging more deeply.” - Jacob


“It’s crazy the number of people that do a first download of Zero from a text message. It’s huge.”

- Nick


“For the same revenue earned, would you rather have a small user base and a really, really high conversion rate? Or would we rather have a really small conversion rate, but a huge user base?” 

- Vu



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