I like how Alex Kwon is developing his current product. I call it a two-track product development.
There’s the main product, Perl, which is a social journaling and microblogging tool for startup founders. (The product hasn’t been publicly launched yet.)
And then there’s this awesome Telegram group he runs, where the initially invited users hang out and chat. There are chats around product feedback, new ideas, bug reports, and sometimes just random thoughts about life.
The Telegram chat room works as a companion app and helps bring the initial users back to the main product.
Being in stealth mode doesn’t mean 0 to 1, where one develops the product in total dark and then suddenly unveils to the world; It’s more like “reveal strategy” where you’re opening access to the product in phases. Phase 1 can be small, trusted circle of friends who can provide valuable feedback, and with them, running a Telegram (or Whatsapp etc) group can be a great “companion app” experience.