How To Make 40,000 People Use Your App In One Weekend

Two years ago, GroupMe gained significant traction at one of the world’s most popular tech conferences, South by Southwest.

South by Southwest (SXSW) is a gathering of technology, music, and film professionals who fly to Austin, Texas to attend panels, network, and party. It’s where Foursquare and Twitter got off the ground.

In 2011, GroupMe won over the conference’s 40,000+ attendees by offering free beer, free grilled cheese, and an app that helped people coordinate better with each other during the interactive portion of SXSW. Over the course of the week, 2 million text messages were sent via GroupMe.

GroupMe is a group texting service that was acquired by Skype one year after it was founded for about $80 million.

We met up with co-founder Jared Hecht, who is back with his free grilled cheese stand at SXSW.

Here’s his advice on launching an app and getting traction in just a few days, in a sea of early adopters.