Brilliantly crafted Explosive Growth: A Few Things I Learned While Growing to 100 Million Users and Losing $78 Million by Cliff Lerner, founder and CEO of SNAP Interactive, Inc., is essential reading for every entrepreneur and leader seeking innovative solutions for their industry.
Lerner’s insights and experiences are as though he mastered the art of archery while surfing.
Among his many feats, it was his vision to launch a dating app AreYouInterested that set the stage for his success. Lerner quickly raised $10 million dollars from just a few phone calls. With a talented team, a solution to a problem, data, and hustle, Lerner’s AYI app went viral and gained an unimaginable 100,000 new users in one day. He even made $78 million in one week.
Lerner strikes his target with the skill and mastery required of a tech entrepreneur all the while riding the waves of the stock market, the nature of business, and the unknown territory of successfully translating digital users into revenue.
Now, with Explosive Growth, distilling years of experience as a multimillion dollar entrepreneur, Lerner identifies the path for success that can be applied across many sectors, including business, bureaucracies, and even life.
First and foremost, Lerner makes it clear that there is not one formula, nor one idea, nor one strategic action that ensures success. Each idea and each action elicits a unique rapid reaction that then requires a rapid response. Entrepreneurs, like Lerner, demonstrate the grace, adaptability, and fortitude of leadership within innovation.
Reinforcing Lerner’s point, his brother and co-founder of SNAP Interactive Inc., Darrel Lerner wrote:
“Success in business doesn’t come from an idea or a formula, it comes from execution. No path is identical, and each key moment presents a decision point that will impact and shape the future of the business.”
What are those key points that define success? Lerner pushes the entrepreneur to be focused and always accurately assess the impact of the idea and data. Lerner writes,
“You can’t improve what you don’t measure.”
One small shift to improve a service can mean the difference between irrelevancy and the opportunity for ’explosive growth’.
Can your business afford to be irrelevant? What is the data? What is the cost of inaction or action?
Lerner lays out the landscape of innovation and the organic rush of entrepreneurship contrary to the predictable calm monotony of repetitive motions or decisions in some businesses and bureaucracies. Entrepreneurs must be nimble in decision making, creative in problem solving, and, most importantly, accurate.
Imagine that archer on the surf board. How does one successfully hit the target while riding waves? It takes practice, skill, tenacity, steadiness to know when to release the product to market or not at all.
Among the 80 tips Lerner offers, a few key tips to reflect on – your timing, team, metrics, multipliers, and, ultimately, your passion.
#ExplosiveGrowthTip 4: First-mover advantage is useless if the timing isn’t right.
#ExplosiveGrowthTip 5: Your first few hires will set the tone for your culture.
#ExplosiveGrowthTip 6: Learn how to validate an idea with as little time and financial investment as possible.
#ExplosiveGrowthTip 7: A few fanatical customer advocates are worth more than hundreds or even thousands of casual signups.
#ExplosiveGrowthTip 10: You can often find success at the intersection of passion and expertise. Are you passionate about the problem your product solves?
Learning from an experienced entrepreneur helps navigate the challenges ahead because there will always be challenges. Some may be self inflicted and others beyond control. Challenges could be the inopportune timing, a negative team member, diminishing finances, unfair competitor practices, and nonpayments.
The truth is that if you do not suffer some type of challenge or failure, you have no experience to appreciate success.
You can read plenty of books on failure but why waste your time. Failure is a reality to everyone. It lends drama to the story. Yet, it is never the story. The story is having a clear vision to consistently rely upon especially when a miscalculation appears and then having the courage to try again.
- How do you express gratitude?
- What is your passion?
- Have you correctly analyzed your metrics?
- Is everyone on the team aligned with the same vision?
- Who are your partners?
- Why are you doing what you are doing?
Success is available to everyone. You need the fortitude, focus, determination to make the right choices, and experienced mentors to succeed.
Start the new year right by reading Explosive Growth.
By Keri Douglas, founder/publisher of 9musesnews.com. Copyright protect. All rights reserved.