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The Viral Non-Strategy

Josh Kopelman, Managing Director of First Round Capital hits the nail on the head with his latest post about the “viral strategy” of startups:

Virality is something that has to be engineered from the beginning…and it’s harder to create virality than it is to create a good product. That’s why we often see good products with poor virality, and poor products with good virality. The reason that over $150 Billion is spent on US advertising each year is because virality is so hard. If virality was easy, there would be no advertising industry.

A few points on this: First, I’d add that virality is also partly by chance. Second, it drives me crazy when I hear/read about entrepreneurs talking about the product as if it’s the only thing that matters. Sure it’s important, but if a tree falls in the forest and there’s nobody there to hear …

November 29, 2009

Comments

  • Ryan Waggoner says:

    Agree on the frustration with entrepreneurs. I think when it comes to our brilliant ideas, it’s hard for us to realize that *no one else cares*. Launching a great product and having zero impact is a good way to learn the lesson that things like virality, SEO, marketing, sales, etc. matter.

  • Dena says:

    You ѕimƿlу copied sοmebody else’s tale

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