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…
Category: Book Review
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.
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.”