Growth and Engagement Hacking

Why New Payment Mechanisms Fail To Take Off

Why New Payment Mechanisms Fail To Take Off

| October 16, 2014 | 12 Comments

Note: This is a guest post by Karthik Shashidhar, a reader of the Platform Thinking blog and a Bangalore-based quant consultant. Karthik is a Resident Quant at the Takshashila Institution and is fascinated by the concept of liquidity, outside the financial markets, and particularly applied to platform markets.   Kenya’s hugely successful payments platform m-pesa [...]

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So you think you can go viral? Three reasons you may be kidding yourself!

So you think you can go viral? Three reasons you may be kidding yourself!

Startups often wonder why investors can’t see how viral they’re going to get. I met an entrepreneur yesterday who confidently stated that his product was going to grow ‘virally’ because it was the best in its category. That was essentially the optimism that powered the growth slide in his investor deck. (To see why this [...]

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The network effect playbook: Social products win with utility, not invites

The network effect playbook: Social products win with utility, not invites

| March 27, 2013 | 2 Comments

Note: This essay was first featured as a guest post on Andrew Chen’s blog. It’s one of the best resources out there for internet startups. The proverbial chicken and egg problem of building a new social product is well understood among tech startups, and it’s been commonplace to follow two contrasting mechanisms for getting traction. Traditionally, startups [...]

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Growth = Engagement: A product design principle you can’t ignore

Growth = Engagement: A product design principle you can’t ignore

| January 19, 2013 | 3 Comments

Newly launched startups love to see their traffic and sign-up stats grow. Growth, after all, is opium for a startup fresh out of the door, and frequent refreshes of the sign-up logs are the happiest pastime for entrepreneurs. Startups often tend to think of growth and engagement as two unrelated divorced concepts. In reality, nothing [...]

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Destination vs. Distribution: Why your product should be where your users are!

Destination vs. Distribution: Why your product should be where your users are!

| November 17, 2012 | 2 Comments

User acquisition is a prerequisite to startup success. Startups often see user acquisition as an act of sourcing traffic to a destination and converting traffic to users. Almost every web business has a destination: a website, an app etc. The destination is often seen as the product in its entirety. Talk to a startup about [...]

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Infinite Virality: The magic of C2C customer management tools

Infinite Virality: The magic of C2C customer management tools

| November 11, 2012 | 1 Comments

One of my earlier posts discussed the inherent advantage that some products enjoy while trying to solve the chicken and egg problem that plagues two-sided markets: Do you get the consumers first or the producers and how do you get one without the other. One of the solutions (described here) lets you seed the platform [...]

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Incentives: How To Engineer User Growth and Virality

Incentives: How To Engineer User Growth and Virality

| October 17, 2012 | 1 Comments

One of the factors that make or break an early stage startup is its ability to acquire users cost-effectively. Startups are increasingly innovating around their user acquisition strategies to acquire users through viral mechanics in the hope of reaching the all-important critical mass without having to spend a fortune. Most viral acquisition is built around [...]

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Naturally Viral: How To Design Your Platform For Self-Expression

Naturally Viral: How To Design Your Platform For Self-Expression

| October 13, 2012 | 4 Comments

Why would a user talk about your product? Often, it’s because your product is really cool and helped them do something that they would never have imagined possible. But users don’t want to be talking about your product all the time. A great way to ensure users keep spreading the word around without even explicitly [...]

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Growth Hacks of Q&A Startups

Growth Hacks of Q&A Startups

| October 8, 2012 | 4 Comments

A lot of Q&A communities have been mushrooming lately.  Why the sudden surge in Q&A communities? Q&A dates back to the early internet days when forums abounded. Forums are based on an outdated model which suffers from lack of identity of participants and results in trolling and noise (and hence, poor navigation and discoverability of [...]

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Permalinks: The Key To Building Platforms That Grow With Usage

Permalinks: The Key To Building Platforms That Grow With Usage

| September 12, 2012 | 1 Comments

Off-platform discoverability is a key problem that platforms need to solve. Platforms that rely on user-generated content can smartly solve for disocverability leveraging their contributing users.

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