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Essays on tech, startups, and marketing.

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Solve a Hard Problem (Tinder). Chapter 8 of my upcoming book, The Cold Start Problem

Hi readers, I’m so, so excited that my upcoming book is dropping in one week, on December 7!! I’ve been working on it for years, and am thrilled that it’ll finally be out. The Cold Start Problem, as the book is called, is about the secret that drives many of tech’s most successful products. It’s the story of how messaging apps, marketplaces, workplace...

I’m on the Tim Ferriss podcast — talking my new book, growth hacking, metaverse, creator economy, and more

Hi readers, My first book — The Cold Start Problem — is out next week!!! The countdown begins. You can preorder it here as hard cover, kindle, or audiobook. And yes, I recorded the audiobook myself. I have a bit more more audio today to talk about as well… When I first moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007, I was introduced to Tim Ferriss at...

Previewing a full chapter of The Cold Start Problem — my upcoming book dropping in December

Hi readers, In just a few weeks, I will be dropping new book, The Cold Start Problem!! If you haven’t gotten your copy — if you are in the US, here are the relevant links: Amazon · Bookshop (support your local bookstore!) Or if you are international, go to the coldstart.com website to find all the pages for Europe, Asia, and more. Thanks to...

Why the best way to drive viral growth to increase retention and engagement

Above: Prosperity Club, one of the first chain letters. This is the type of spikey, bad viral growth you don’t want! Hello readers, Viral growth — specifically the type baked into product features, in the form of invites, sharing, and collaboration — is a topic I’ve been endlessly fascinated by. It’s the central force that has propelled many of the...

What to look for when you’re hiring a Head of Growth

The most frequent question One of the most frequent questions that founders ask is – I’ve read all about the importance of user growth, so now, how do I hire a Head of Growth? It’s asked often for good reason. Growing your startup’s users and revenue is so critical that it makes sense to hire someone to run it, and to potentially add a team underneath...

Announcing the 2021 book tour for my upcoming book, The Cold Start Problem

Hi readers, I’m excited to start taking reservations for my 2021 book tour ahead of the launch of my new book, The Cold Start Problem. The book focuses on how the world’s most valuable technology companies — Tinder, Slack, Zoom, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, Airbnb, Uber, and others — launched their products and scaled them to billions of dollars in...

Why premature scaling fails: The Traction Treadmill

Hi readers, I’m back writing! Well, tweeting mostly, but then developing my points more thoroughly and cross-posting them to my blog. Hope you enjoy this one, which was inspired by a convo I had with Gagan Biyani at Maven about when to scale versus not. Also, a brief announcement: I’ve released the Table of Contents for my upcoming book, The Cold...

What today’s social apps can learn from Web 2.0, the social network revolution from 15 years ago

Hi readers, Boom! I’m back with another — I told you, I’m really back, after 3 years of hiatus focused on the new book. Anywyay, first, I want to thank you for all the outpouring of support and kind notes on my return to writing. And of course, the preorders for my upcoming book THE COLD START PROBLEM which is all about user growth in the context of...

The future of social apps and the intersection of SF/LA

Hi readers, I’ve been MIA! But ready to be back and writing more now that I’m finished with my book (more on that in a second). Two things today: First, I recently posted a tweetstorm about my adventures in the LA tech ecosystem, and how it compares to SF, and the upcoming changes. I have it below, with some updates and edits And second, I’m happy...

Announcing my first book, The Cold Start Problem. Plus Clubhouse, and more. It’s 2021, and I’m back!

Above: One of the final book cover designs I’m considering! Dear readers, So, you may have noticed that I’ve been away from writing for a bit. Actually for almost a full year. But I have an excuse! After nearly three years and many late nights and long weekends, I have an announcement. My first book is dropping in late 2021, called THE COLD START...

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