Why is it that some things just don’t seem to get any easier the second time around? For instance, you’d think that after going through the trials and tribulations of growing a business from startup dust to a thriving publicly traded company with over 100 million users, the next business would be infinitely easier to get off the ground.
Spoiler alert! It’s not.
In 2016, I sold my company SNAP Interactive. My nearly ten-year experience there as Co-Founder and CEO was a wild ride; one that saw about twelve of us become paper millionaires almost overnight; one where I was honored to ring the opening bell at NASDAQ; and one where I made some mistakes and ultimately learned some incredibly valuable lessons to move forward with. That experience also inspired me to write a book, “Explosive Growth — A Few Things I Learned Growing To 100 Million Users,” available on Amazon. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Maybe not.
Whether or not you’re familiar…
On May 1st, Mark Zuckerberg ‘shocked the world’ by announcing that Facebook will offer online dating features to its 2 billion plus users. Although the timing is surprising, it is actually not far-fetched as Facebook began as a dating site called FaceMash in 2003, and has finally come full circle 15 years later. But most importantly, singles all over the world should be rejoicing, as this news should be the greatest thing for singles since…ever.
First, some quick background on myself. I’m the founder of Snap Interactive, which created the first successful Facebook dating app in 2007 called AreYouInterested? (AYI)…
Some of this information is taken from my new book Explosive Growth — A Few Things I Learned Growing To 100 Million Users & Losing $78 Million.
There are numerous strategies that helped my startup acquire at least 1 million users on several apps, however these are the 3 questions that you need to be asking yourself if you want to grow your product to stratospheric levels.
If you look at the current startup ecosystem, you’ll see dozens of identical products differentiated by minor features or branding. Most of these products are doomed.
When you’re offering essentially the same value…
Much of this information is taken from my #1 Best Seller Business Book, Explosive Growth — A Few Things I Learned Growing To 100 Million Users & Losing $78 Million.
There is one truth that all founders — I don’t care if you’re a former CEO or a 22 year-old college dropout — must come to terms with:
Most of your ideas are bad.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Having bad ideas is just part of being human. Your “CEO & Founder” business cards don’t come with a brain implant that stops you from having dumb ideas…
In 2007, my company’s marketing efforts were, in a word, lackluster.
I ran a dating service called IAmFreeTonight.com (later known as AreYouInterested, and now, FirstMet), and in 2007, we’d launched the following marketing campaigns:
As soon as I saw Tinder, I knew it was going to crush the competition. Unfortunately, I was included in that competition.
How did I know Tinder would succeed? Tinder found the Holy Grail — the one thing all online dating services (mine included) had been trying to find to no avail:
A way to stimulate word-of-mouth referrals.
Before Tinder, there was a serious stigma around online dating. You only told your…
In 2007, my company was in a precarious spot:
We needed our new dating service, AreYouInterested?, to find traction quickly, otherwise we’d be out of capital.
I’m going to go ahead and spoil the ending — It worked out. AreYouInterested? is now FirstMet, a dating community with over 30 million users.
There is one question that can make or break any marketing campaign, but you never hear it asked at meetings:
Does our product suck?
It’s a scary thing to say out loud. Leaders don’t want to appear to lack confidence in their product, and team members don’t want to piss anyone off.
But in my experience, asking that question can be the difference between a launching a product that is dead on arrival, and building a $150 million dollar…