Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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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