Crushing The Core

Why do people return-to-use their favorite apps and websites?

Why are some software experiences incredibly sticky and others less so?

What features materially affect repeat usage metrics like WAUs and MAUs?

We believe in a simple mantra: Crushing The Core.

‘Crushing The Core’ is discerned by asking one simple question. It’s a question that’s easy to ask and hard to get right.


“In 2 - 5 reasons, why would an existing user return to the experience on a daily, weekly or bi-weekly basis?”


Let’s unpack this question together:

  • …existing user: By specifically referencing existing users, it intentionally focuses on the features that influence the stickiness of the app. User acquisition, successful on-boarding and tertiary use-cases are all necessary parts of a world-class application. But none of those matter if users don’t regularly return! What company can justify the ROI of a revolving door user base? (exception businesses aside)

  • …on a daily, weekly or bi-weekly basis: By specifically referencing time intervals, it further narrows the focus towards the most foundational use cases and away from the twice-a-year features. Chances are your app will need a good sign up screen, but without an experience that compels people to return, what’s the point?

  • In 2 - 5 reasons: As much as we’d like to dream-up two dozen different things that people are going to love about an experience, it’s usually a handful (or less) that affect whether or not they’ll return…and return often.

So in your next brainstorming session, whiteboard time or roadmap pow-wow…try (re)asking this question as a northstar for your jam time. Because reaching exceptional clarity on it, and executing well towards it, might just be what’s essential to reaching your success.