Anybody building a digital service, maybe a social network, messaging tools, or a CRM app needs to answer a vital question early: are you going for users or customers?
A Customer is a person (or entity) that rewards you financially for services rendered. A User is a person (or entity) that well…. uses you. Many new digital businesses mix up both classes, but you should not be fooled.
You need to decide early how you intend to make money from the services rendered.
If you are a bootstrapped business, you have to acquire paying customers from day 1. If you have raised funding from investors, it usually allows you to play with users for longer.
But if what we are really building is a business (and not a user focus group experiment) and one characteristic of a real business is the ability to make money, real money for its owners, then I do not know why many people create businesses that have no revenue plan and then wear that as a badge of amour.
Why acquire users when I can acquire customers?
Read up: How the internet killed profit