I was overwhelmed with projects pitching me to fund their ICO as an angel investor, and decided to analyze the market 2 months ago. In short, the technologies of 1993 have met with the hype of 1999. I do believe in cryptocurrencies, but I’m a bit cautious about ICOs. However, there are good ICO investment strategies as well.


1. Cryptocurrencies are here to stay, they serve as the store of value. It is not a bubble, but a part of the global economy.

2. In May 2017 there were only 12 mln cryptocurrency wallets (it is a laughably small…

We’ve had a fantastic lineup of speakers at Stanford CS183C course on ‘Blitzscaling’ in the fall of 2015 — Eric Schmidt (Google), Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue and Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn), Marissa Mayer (Yahoo), Reed Hastings (Netflix), Shishir Mehrotra (YouTube), John Lilly (Mozilla), Diane Greene (VMware), Patrick Collison (Stripe), Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos), Nirav Tolia (Nextdoor), Jen Pahlka (Code for America), Mariam Naficy (Minted), Michael Dearing (Harrison Metal), Ann Miura-Ko (Floodgate), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), Selina Tobaccowala (SurveyMonkey), Sam Altman (YCombinator). They shared ideas on scaling the companies with the class.

1. Blitzscaling is triple-digit growth, which feels painful. This concept will be…

Exclaimed our investor at a Skype call and he wasn't joking. The daily deals company Darberry (15 employees at Family stage) was showing fantastic growth ($100,000+ per month only 4-5 months after launch). All what mattered then was speed of growth, capturing market share, signing up users and merchants faster. Each acquired user paid off the marketing costs in 3 weeks and his LTV was 6-10X the acquisition costs (and growing over time), so it was a crime to be profitable instead of investing everything into growth.

Same talk a year later (around 500 employees at Groupon Russia, Village stage)…

The tribal stage of the startup is all about running right experiments and quickly making changes based on the results. In addition to experiment with daily knowledge channels (which aims to raise retention), I’ve looked at Eduson.tv customer funnel (acquisition -> activation -> retention -> virality) and designed 3 tests which we plan to run.

1. ACTIVATION. Will the video tests engage employees more than traditional text-based tests?

Our new onboarding will put employees right into online assessment of their knowledge. We want to find out their strengths and weaknesses and based on it appoint individual learning paths. …

“Have you guys bought porn traffic?”

Manager calling from Japanese hosting company Heroku sounded really worried. Oleg, CTO of a social networking dating application (Hot-or-Not analogue), was working late in our Moscow co-working space. That day 1,000,000 new users signed up and started chatting and browsing each other photos. Since launch Oleg constantly tweaked the app, made countless iterations to grow DAU and pages per session until finding product-market fit, and then focused on growth.

He monitored changes in Vkontakte developer API and exploited every update until one day he hit the jackpot. With a little hacking and luck invites…

Elena Masolova

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