Explosive Growth Book Reviews

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Should You Buy Stocks? A Few Thoughts On The Stock Market

Some of you know investing is a passion of mine (and part of my former life) and here are some observations and my $0.02 based on conversation with friends.

Mr. market is certainly fascinating these days. It’s wild to see historically bad economic data reported as the stock market records historically near record weekly gains – and the overall disconnect. One rarely discussed point is that the record unemployment data doesn’t include the likely 10’s of millions who are taking a huge pay-cut. I suspect ‘the market’ will wake up to this soon.

Stimulus vs Economic Stop – Which Wins?
It will be intriguing to see how the unprecedented fiscal/monetary stimulus plays out vs. the equally unprecedented economic devastation. (Fun site – https://www.usdebtclock.org/world-debt-clock.html – note the USA Debt/GDP ratio is still far lower than some 1st-world countries).

The experts I respect most are generally staying on the sidelines (ie: they “have no idea what’s going to happen so they’ll just watch this play out”) – as the two primary factors driving the market – the unlimited stimulus vs full economic stop – both have no historical precedent.

-The ‘Bull’ case is mostly based on ‘don’t fight the fed’ (record-low interest rates, stimulus, etc) – usually a safe mantra to bet on. -‘Bear’ case is mostly based on under-appreciated long-term ramifications of the full economic stop. The brilliant economist, @elerianm, has cogent views on what happens after economic stops (hint – they are not optimistic). I highly recommend you listen.

Sidenote – Warren Buffet’s annual Berkshire shareholder meeting will be livestreamed free on Saturday – highly recommend you watch. I firmly believe that I learn more in 6 hours from listening to Buffet/Munger answering questions each year than I did during my 4-year ivy league education – https://finance.yahoo.com/brklivestream/.

Next 4-8 Weeks Are Critical:
If there are any false-starts to reopening (covid resurgence), it will not be good for anybody. I’m keeping a close eye on data from cities/countries that are re-opening (see Germany). Market Is Not The Economy & DJIA is not the market:It’s important to note that the top 5 companies of the S&P500 = 20% of its value (MSFT, AAPL, FB, GOOG, AMZN). The DJIA similarly consists of brand-name companies, with access to capital, that are currently thriving in the ‘new normal’ (cloud/tech, healthcare/pharma, etc). The Russell2k is a better ‘market’ indicator, which has substantially under-performed the ‘Market’.

Second Wave In Fall?
The medical experts seem to all agree that a covid resurgence in the fall is highly likely, and could be more devastating as it will coincide with the flu. This obviously would be disastrous and the market seems to be discounting this entirely at this point.

Consumer Demand Matters Most:
If/when consumer demand returns is what should drive the market’s next move in either direction. Many factors will impact this – duration of virus/fear, lockdowns, false-starts, progress of vaccines, and overall consumer confidence (ie: will I get/lose my job) are main ones. Every day that goes by makes it much harder for economy to recover from (ie: V-shape vs L-shape ‘recovery’). The next several weeks should be very telling. Medical X-Factor:A medical breakthrough is the x-factor that can change everything on a dime (today is great example with positive Remdesivir data).

Timing is always impossible to predict, but the next several weeks should reveal a critical catalyst in either direction – how safely/quickly we can reopen and if we can keep virus in check while re-opening.

Industries that will suffer long-term/irreparable damage due to covid/new-normal (malls, physical retailers, entertainment, travel/leisure, etc) seem toxic to me. Many companies in these spaces have been given a temporary lifeline due to the fed’s actions, but the ones with bad balance sheets are in trouble. I’m optimistic on companies/industries that should thrive in the new (post-covid) world (telemedicine, cloud, video/online-first model, gaming), especially ones with strong balance sheets.

-Not financial advice

The TLDR – the market may go up, or down, or stay the same

What do you think?

Best Startup Books For Entrepreneurs 2019

Explosive Growth Ranked In 2019 Best Startup Books For Entrepreneurs
Awareshala.com – January 21, 2019

Quickly becoming one of the most recommended startup books for entrepreneurs, Explosive Growth stands out from the crowd due to its compelling content detailing the highs and lows of creating the first online dating app that grew to 100 million users.

Explosive Growth is for entrepreneurs and startup founders who want to know what it’s really like to run a startup, while learning invaluable strategies to grow massively while avoiding painful mistakes.  This is why Explosive Growth is one of the best books for startup entrepreneurs.

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 suddenly began to acquire 100,000 new users daily for free, and soon after the stock price skyrocketed, setting off an extraordinary chain of events filled with sudden success and painful lessons which he tried to convey through this book.

View the full list of the Best Books For Startup Entrepreneurs.

Explosive Growth Ranked In ‘The Best Startup Books Of All Time’

Best Startup Books

Explosive Growth Ranked As Best Startup Books Of All Time by Benny Emerling – July 15, 2019

The path of a startup is marked by overcoming constant struggles and learning how to make a name in a certain industry. Reading books that tell the tales of successful entrepreneurs and their companies can help you navigate the twists and turns of starting your own company. These books are anecdotal, advisory, or a combination of both.

Whether you’re currently toying around with a simple idea or in the launching phase of your company, the right startup book helps guides you through making tough decisions. Some of the topics covered include vertical scaling, team management, and finding investors.

For a closer look at what it takes to be a successful founder, we’ve curated our top picks for the best startup books for your reading list.

Continue reading The List of the Best Start Up Books Of All-Time

Explosive Growth Ranked In Best Growth Hacking Business Books

by Syed Balkhi In Entrepreneur.com – Learn about the potential to be found in ‘grit,’ ‘pre-suasion,’ explosive growth and other strategies these authors describe.

Want to know how to grow your startup to 100 million users? Then this is the book for you. Explosive Growthby Cliff Lerner is a book that gives step-by-step instructions, case studies and proven tactics on how to explode your growth.

Continue reading the list of the ‘Best Growth-Hacking Business Books‘ on Entrepreneur.com.

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.

Continue Reading Here

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.

Clifford Lerner:  #AMA – Ask Me Anything

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.

View The Full AMA Here.

Explosive Growth Book Review By Irish Tech News

Explosive Growth Book Review By Simon Cocking of  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…

Continue Reading The Explosive Growth Book Review On Irish Tech News

Explosive Growth Book Review By Egg Marketing

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.

Continue Reading The Explosive Growth Book Review On Egg Marketing

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 2018Ethereum, Tony Robbins, Facebook, and some of my #ExplosiveGrowthTips for Startups and Entrepreneurs.

View The Full Explosive Growth Book Interview Here.

For the crypto-enthusiasts, I recently launched a new Cryptocurrency App – BuySellHODL, which provides Crypto Ratings, Price Targets, Crypto News, and a Live Daily Bitcoin Game where users can win real money.


Bitcoin & Crypto Thoughts With Yahoo! Finance

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.

For the crypto-enthusiasts, I recently launched a new Cryptocurrency App – BuySellHODL, which provides Crypto Ratings, Price Targets, Crypto News, and a Live Daily Bitcoin Game where users can win real money.



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:

Listen To Author Hour Podcast With Cliff Lerner on Explosive Growth

Explosive Growth Book Review By 9MuseNews.com

Explosive Growth Book Review By Keri Douglas of 9MusesNews.com on 1/2/2018

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.”

Continue Reading The Explosive Growth Book Review On 9MusesNews.com…


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…

Continue Reading On Medium…

Worst Ideas As A Founder That Worked

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…

Continue Reading On Medium…


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.

Continue Reading On The Huffington Post


Tinder Explosive Growth

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…

Continue Reading On Medium…


A/B Testing

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…

Continue Reading On Medium…

Get 100,000 Free Press This Week

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…

Continue Reading On Medium…

Why Christmas Eve Is Your Startups Biggest Opportunity

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.

Continue Reading On Medium…


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