What are the fundamental approaches for building consumer networks from the ground-up?
I listen a few times to an interview with Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn. He spoke about many things, but one thing stroke me as an inspiration. I have decided to write down my thoughts so I could re-read them at any time later.
Raid spoke about a framework he used to operate the early stage of a social network such as LinkedIn. It is something I was looking for some time.
He says that not only VCs should have an investment thesis, but social entrepreneurs as well. So, what is this thesis?
1. A clearly articulated set of believes about the way the world is becoming.
2. Where would the role of your product or service role in that world be? How and why the world will benefit from your product or service?
3. What are you going successfully to do to enable that role?
It helps to decide whether to accelerate the growth, step back, do a micro/macro pivot, and make other decisions on the next bets of the company. At Qoorio, we already operate on "the next bet" principle, however, not in that sophisticated way, as he suggests.
The elements of this thesis may sound very abstract. And they should be, as the thesis itself is a set of answers to those questions put into a coherent story. For LinkedIn, that was the following on high-level:
1. Every professional should have a public identity.
2. That would make the world much better for everyone. For individuals, because they would be able to find better jobs. For companies, because they will have to become better employers, have more compelling missions, would be able to attract better talent. And for industries, because different companies will compete for talent.
3. LinkedIn had to get people to start establishing profiles and, most important, invent the way so that people would invite other people – the viral mechanism. And this viral mechanism is THE MOST important element of the business.
Such an investment thesis is the starting point of the company. Based on that, the company implements the product or service, the viral mechanism (which allows people to invite other people), and onboards the first users.
After that, it is usual that things don't work as expected. Based on all learnings, you tweak the thesis, replace false beliefs with what you have learned about the reality, and come up with an updated thesis.
Once you have an updated thesis, you tweak the product, viral mechanism, and onboard more new users again.
Then repeat the cycle again and again. Each iteration is an iteration of learning. The faster you iterate and learn, the better chances of success you have. That's why Raid argues that being able to learn fast is the key quality of the team of such environments of building social networks.
Thank you, Reid Hoffman, very insightful!
An open question to readers: what would motivate you to invite other people to Qoorio, and how Qoorio has to change so you will do that?
Listen to the full interview here: https://greatness.floodgate.com/episodes/reid-hoffman-the-network-philosopher-king
Most of my teenage years I used to be super shy with no self confidence at all. I remember having a mindset: “I will not start a conversation myself and only start speaking when someone asks me something or starts talking with me”
I had a terrible fixed mindset and thought I will always be like this.
Looking back at what helped me to crawl out of this hole, there were many things, but what layed the foundation was books on self development.
I still remember so vividly how I went to the library and borrowed my first book which was called “Self-confidence”.
After finishing that one book, I gained a whole new perspective and realized “wow, I can actually learn how to be better at social situations”.
Ever since reading that first book, I have been an avid reader, always trying to improve myself on every aspect of life, whether it is social, mental, financial, physical - you name it. There is just so much wisdom in books that can improve your life.
So my idea for you - if you have a teenage relative, friend, siblings etc. Gift them a book on personal development - my recommendation: D. Carnegie - “How to win friends and influence people”.
Best case scenario is that you may change their life forever, worst case scenario is that they won’t read it :)
What are you afraid to do but know you should?
Everyone has fears. Some have more than others.
I have always had many fears in my life: fear of failure, embarrasing myself, etc...
One mindset that has really helped me to face fears is this:
“Feel the fear and do it anyway!”
Because, what we fear doing most, is usually what we most need to do!
I was terrified of taking a sales job at 19 years old, but I knew that was something that would be most beneficial for me in that moment to grow as a person.
I remember my first day at the job. I got only 2-3 hours of sleep the night before because I was so anxious and excited at the same time. And then making that first sales approach - I was afraid, but I still did it and it actually went pretty well. And as they say, the more you face your fears, the easier it gets.
So next time you feel fear. Remember: “Feel the fear and do it anyway!”