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Entrepreneur.com Book Review
Want to know how to grow your startup to 100 million users? Then this is the book for you. Explosive Growth, by Cliff Lerner is a book that gives step-by-step instructions, case studies and proven tactics on how to explode your growth.
Cliff Lerner Turned His Business Failures into the Entrepreneurship Playbook
It was 2005, and Cliff Lerner had a revolutionary idea:
What if online dating actually worked?
At the time, modern online dating was in its early stages, and was a pretty awful user experience. If you were lucky, you’d exchange a few emails with someone, set up a date, then discover at the last minute that your date had flaked.
For busy professionals like Cliff, the process was a waste of precious time.
In response, Cliff founded SNAP Interactive, which created one of the first apps on Facebook, AreYouInterested. It had all the hallmark features we see on dating apps today—swiping, connecting via mutual friends, and showing mutual interests.
“I knew immediately that we’d created something special. After 40 days, we had a million users. One year later, we had 10 million users. We eventually reached 100 million users and we were the fastest growing dating app in the world.”
Suddenly, Cliff’s small start-up went from eight employees trading at a nickel a share, to 50 employees and being valued at nearly $200 million.
AMA about “How Does A Startup With Little Funding Grow To 100 MILLION USERS?” Talk with the Founder of the first publicly traded social media company and first online dating app that ultimately grew to 100 million users.
How Does A Startup With Little Funding Grow To 100 MILLION USERS?
Cliff Lerner’s online dating startup, Snap Interactive, was running out of money when he bet the company’s fortunes on a then-unknown platform called Facebook. The app (called AreYouInterested at the time) achieved explosive growth getting, and soon after the stock price skyrocketed 2,000 percent, setting off an extraordinary chain of events filled with sudden success and painful lessons.
Explosive Growth Book Review By Irish Tech News
This is a great book to read. Some of the business books are a bit of a chore to read, this was one that we looked forward to reading. It is painfully honest at times, and rather than falling for the hindsight bias, that if he is successful now then surely every decision he made before was awesome. Instead he looks hard at what he did, and did not do right. It makes for a much better, much more compelling read. There are several opportunities that he turned down, that in hindsight he explains he would definitely like to have played differently. Hint, if a billionaire comes calling, do at least explore how a possible collaboration might play out…
Explosive Growth Book Review By Egg Marketing
A Story Well-Told
What kept me engaged on my flight to and from Maui, when I dove into this book, was Lerner’s story. After realizing that a Wall Street career was not for him, he launched an online dating startup (because, you know, that was supposed to be less stressful than working for Lehman Brothers). While the company had wild success after a media mention, the bigger story here is in the mistakes that he made along the way.
Lerner’s story reads like a business memoir (if that’s a genre), peppered with tips to avoid the mistakes he made. Frankly, the tips inserted in the story felt a little redundant to me after the story, but they fell in line with how business how-to books are written today.
Unlike many CEOs, Lerner admits his mistakes and offers insight into how he would have done things differently. Anyone in the startup space would benefit from his insight (such as: don’t leave all the money on the table when you’ve got it…don’t say no to high-profile investors like Mark Cuban, etc.).
The story ends well for Lerner, I think. He’s a media personality and celebrity entrepreneur who has, obviously, written a book. So the moral of the story here is: even if you fail in your business, you can always leverage that loss into something else.
Explosive Growth Book & Bitcoin Interview With Yahoo! Finance
Interview With Yahoo Finance on the ‘Final Round’ discussing Explosive Growth: A Few Things I Learned Growing To 100 Million Users And Losing $78 Million. We also discuss my thoughts on Bitcoin reaching $100,000 in 2018, Ethereum, Tony Robbins, Facebook, and some of my #ExplosiveGrowthTips for Startups and Entrepreneurs.
Bitcoin & Crypto Thoughts With Yahoo! Finance
— Jennifer Rogers (@JenSaidIt) December 7, 2017
View the entire Explosive Growth Book Interview on Yahoo Finance’s ‘Closing Round.’ I give my thoughts on growth tips for startups and entrepreneurs, why your product needs to be 10x better, as well as bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and more.
Author Hour Podcast With Cliff Lerner
Years before Tinder and Bumble were popular, there was Are You Interested?, the biggest dating app on Facebook and the brainchild of Cliff Lerner (@clifflerner). Cliff was able to grow Are You Interested? to more than 100 million users with very little funding.
Today, Cliff shares the secrets of how he was able to make his app go viral to the point where he was signing up 100,000 new users a day, without spending any money on advertising. As the author of Explosive Growth, Cliff cuts through the hype and gives readers a step-by-step playbook filled with proven strategies for growing startups from zero to explosive growth.
But Cliff’s story isn’t just about success. The most important lessons are often learned during times of struggle and Cliff certainly has his fair share of failures, including the loss of $78 million in one week.
Listen in to Cliff to learn:
How to implement viral growth strategies for any product or service
Why passionate employees are the key to continual innovation
What metrics you should be measuring when trying to scale your startup:
Explosive Growth Book Review By 9MuseNews.com
Brilliantly crafted Explosive Growth: A Few Things I Learned While Growing to 100 Million Users and Losing $78 Million by Cliff Lerner, founder and CEO of SNAP Interactive, Inc., is essential reading for every entrepreneur and leader seeking innovative solutions for their industry.
Lerner’s insights and experiences are as though he mastered the art of archery while surfing.
Among his many feats, it was his vision to launch a dating app AreYouInterested that set the stage for his success. Lerner quickly raised $10 million dollars from just a few phone calls. With a talented team, a solution to a problem, data, and hustle, Lerner’s AYI app went viral and gained an unimaginable 100,000 new users in one day. He even made $78 million in one week.
Lerner strikes his target with the skill and mastery required of a tech entrepreneur all the while riding the waves of the stock market, the nature of business, and the unknown territory of successfully translating digital users into revenue.
Now, with Explosive Growth, distilling years of experience as a multimillion dollar entrepreneur, Lerner identifies the path for success that can be applied across many sectors, including business, bureaucracies, and even life.
First and foremost, Lerner makes it clear that there is not one formula, nor one idea, nor one strategic actions that ensures success. Each idea and each action elicits a unique rapid reaction that then requires a rapid response. Entrepreneurs, like Lerner, demonstrate the grace, adaptability, and fortitude of leadership within innovation.
Reinforcing Lerner’s point, his brother and co-founder of SNAP Interactive Inc., Darrel Lerner wrote:
“Success in business doesn’t come from an idea or a formula, it comes from execution. No path is identical, and each key moment presents a decision point that will impact and shape the future of the business.”
Your Product Isn’t Growing Because It Sucks
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 company.
Why It’s So Hard To Ask Ourselves If Our Product Sucks…
The Worst Ideas I Had As A Founder (That Went Extremely Well)
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 the shower (Look at that! Another terrible startup idea!).
The difference between a successful founder and a failed founder isn’t always the quality of their ideas. It is their willingness to put even their seemingly worst ideas to the test…
A Few Words About Explosive Growth: Importance of Mentors And Thinking Big
Every startup founder, even the most aggressively realistic, has a quiet pipedream in the back of their mind.
Everytime they hit launch on a new feature, everytime they publish an article, everytime a new piece of coverage is released—some part of their mind asks, “Is this the thing that is going to change everything?”
We can’t help ourselves. It’s part of startup lore. A business with moderate traction is struggling along, until one video goes viral, pouring in millions of new customers. A founder adds one feature to their product, and suddenly it’s a sensation.
The reality is, 99% of the time, the feature doesn’t change the world. The coverage doesn’t spark a movement. Your content only gets a few dozen shares.
5 Genius Things Tinder Did To Achieve Explosive Growth
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 friends you were dating online after you’d successfully met your match — and even then, it wasn’t information you went around broadcasting…
How A/B Testing Got Us 100,000 Users In One Day
In 2007, my company was in a precarious spot:
- We’d scrapped our product for a full rebuild.
- We were rebuilding our product as a Facebook app — a totally untested platform.
- We were quickly running out of funds.
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.
However, back in 2007, we had no idea it would work. We were sure of just two things…
How To Get $100,000 In Free Press For Your Startup This Week
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:
- We dumped $50,000 into one Spring Break promotion involving helicopters, skywriting, and girls in bikinis. It netted us zero signups.
- We tested viral features that failed.
- We’d appeared in a few major media outlets — USA Today, Geraldo, etc. — which had driven some signups, but not nearly enough.
In short, we had nothing but a handful of good stories…
Why Christmas Eve Is Your Startup’s Biggest Opportunity
Everything you PR team has told about when to issue your blog post or press release is dead wrong.
PR folks will tell you that timing is everything, and they are right about that. In order to get maximum visibility for your story, they will tell you to publish it when: 1) your target audience is available to engage your content; and 2) when bloggers and reporters are ready to spread your story while it’s still hot.