“The first 500 fans were a lot harder to get than the next 500,000.” – Blair Fowler, YouTube celebrity
How did Blair Fowler and her sister become YouTube beauty fashionistas from their bedroom in Tennessee?
Blair: first-mover advantage.
In summer 2008, there were only four people putting beauty tutorials on YouTube. Last year, [...]
What is cool and different about Nike?
– Online social networking intended to drive real, physical, offline behavior.
– They built an entirely new hardware product category around social stuff. Real commitment to non-traditional marketing, consistent branding, etc.
=> One of the few (so far) social networks where participation requires you [...]
HBR business model:
– Capitalize on Harvard brand!
– Top-notch contributors
– Long articles, not just tidbits
So: higher price than competitors, lower circulation (vs. Economist, FT, Fortune).
Why go online?
– Cheaper lead generation (vs. offline)
– More current content (vs. offline), additional revenue (freemium)?
– Searchability [...]
What does Amex do?
– Aspirational/premium image (fees), higher spending per cardholder than competitors
– Direct to consumer (no issuers) = CONTROL, “closed loop”
but CAC is higher than competitors ($250+)
– Charge higher fees to merchants
– First-mover into value-add services: travel planning, concierge => [...]
Wikipedia Esperanza: should Wikipedians keep it or shutter it? What kind of problems arise on User-Generated Content (UGC) platforms?
Premise: retention is a problem.
– Quality of articles increases => pressure on editors to perform
– Helps retain editors and overcome negative stigmas (petty, flamewar-ridden community)
Yelp: an activity-based dating site masquerading as a portal for local business reviews.
Read elements: photos, variety of opinions, funny, accurate (?)
What does accurate mean? Good for 1s (surfacing terrible places), but lots of 3s and 4s. Self-selection among reviewers: fancy restaurants and greasy spoons get the same review.
Generally, common issues [...]
Why do people play games in the real world?
– Escape reality, kill time
– Develop mastery, pursue achievements
– Competition => with friends!
– Structure interaction with friends => both acquaintances (get to know people better) and close friends (excuse to spend time together)
Problems: maybe hard, maybe boring, [...]
How the heck can Facebook monetize?
Display Ads — mediocre results
Why ads don’t work well on social platforms:
– Wrong context (salesman pulls up a chair at your family dinner table)
– Harms user experience
– No purchasing intent (vs. search engine, which have >2% CTR)
Targeted ads (age/geography/education/gender/religion/interests) — [...]
“We had had the most effective user acquisition model in the history of history.” – Kent Lindstrom, Friendster
Key questions in developing a business strategy based on social networks:
(1) Is there a real problem?
(2) Can networks help?
(3) Are networks better than alternatives?
(4) Can you actually build a [...]
mixi: Our first case on a “friend” platform. A wildly successful Japanese blogging platform.
– Much smaller than Facebook: avg = 27 friends => only add “strong friends;” exclude boss and ex
– Fictitious names, fake photos
– Still friends with strangers…
– Lengthy diary entries: one paragraph or [...]
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