Here's something you may not know about today's Internet. Simply by designing your product the right way, you can build a flourishing business from scratch. No advertising or marketing budget, no need for a sales force, and venture capitalists will flock to throw money at you.
Many of the most successful Web 2.0 companies, including MySpace, YouTube, eBay, and rising star...more
More lists with this book...
The book provides some interesting insight into many of the products and services we know well, such as Netscape and EBay, that have grow from humble beginnings into multi ...more
In 2000, the “Naked Scientists,” a group of Cambridge University physicians and researchers who popularize science, satirically described the viral path of an odd growth industry: Elvis Presley impersonation. At that time, more than 85,000 Elvis impersonators actively performed around the world, “compared to only 170 in 1977 when Elvis died.” The Naked Scientists jovially argued that, at that rate of growth, “by 2019, Elvis imperso ...more
Great stories of how these companies started and spread, some like wildfire, virally through the net. A current book, not about failed companies that never survived the dot com bust earlier this century. The usual strategy is for companies to get big and get bought out, bringing untold riches ...more
This book is about the network effect. The idea is that for every person that is added to a communication platform like email, telephones, and the internet, the number of potential connections increases exponentially. In its earliest form, it was used by Tupperware to sell products, or people creating chain letters. The book basically says that the network effect is good. I disagree with the idea ...more
Longer version. I was frustrated by his treatment of a few different things.
Section 3 on viral networks was the strongest. The viral marketing section was touch and go - I think he just lacked a basic understanding of mass media.
1) His need to infuse a larger drama that he did a poor job of crafting a narrative for
2) His understanding of t ...more
My favorite chapter w ...more
Some critics of this book argue, that the book could have been condensed to only a few pages. I tend to agree. Penenberg spends a lot of time giving detailed background to the genesis of some of the most famous Internet companies today. For some readers, this could be a bit boring. But that's like criticizing a Ferr ...more
It was also interesting to read the back story behind the rise of the internet. I saw it from the consumer/user side, so it was nice to ...more
It does well as an entertaining history of why companies like Facebook have grown so fast, but tends towards over-exuberant and over-generalized proclamations about what leads to success in technology.
As another reviewer stated, this book doesn't provide much beyond typical Fast Company articles.
However, Penenberg does a great job of compiling an interesting history of the viral loop. I'm not a "techie" and can barely function on my own computer and ...more
Fun factoid on eBay history. According to the book, eBay stood for “Echo Bay”. The site, orginally called, Auction Web, was launched on labor day wekend in 1995. Omidyar ran it as a free service, during his nights and weekends, until ...more
1) Viral Businesses - e.g. Tupperware, Ponzi Schemes
2) Viral Marketing - e.g. Hotmail's Viral marketing techniques ...more
started slow - a little tired - a little old news. got better - and promised at one point to be a good read - and then trailed off with what i consider to be a half hearted attempt at introducing the rules by which you can measure likelihood of something going viral and got into discussion of stackability of viral loops and
in the end - glad i read it - always nice to see what is out there - but not going to change my world ... but - it might change yours !
It was unlike some of the other social media books I have gone through because he not only talks about the tools, but also the designers and the tools that didn't make it far.
I was pleasantly surprised when it went thoroughly through the history of many viral companies and was a very interesting read overall.
Very thorough, well written, informative, and it kept me engaged without burning me out on too much history and facts.