Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves

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Hachette Books, Oct 13, 2009 - Business & Economics - 288 pages
Here's something you may not know about today's Internet. Simply by designing your product the right way, you can build a flourishing business from scratch. No advertising or marketing budget, no need for a sales force, and venture capitalists will flock to throw money at you.

Many of the most successful Web 2.0 companies, including MySpace, YouTube, eBay, and rising stars like Twitter and Flickr, are prime examples of what journalist Adam L. Penenberg calls a "viral loop"--to use it, you have to spread it. After all, what's the sense of being on Facebook if none of your friends are The result: Never before has there been the potential to create wealth this fast, on this scale, and starting with so little.

In this game-changing must-read, Penenberg tells the fascinating story of the entrepreneurs who first harnessed the unprecedented potential of viral loops to create the successful online businesses--some worth billions of dollars--that we have all grown to rely on. The trick is that they created something people really want, so much so that their customers happily spread the word about their product for them.

All kinds of businesses--from the smallest start-ups to nonprofit organizations to the biggest multinational corporations--can use the paradigm-busting power of viral loops to enable their business through technology. Viral Loop is a must-read for any entrepreneur or business interested in uncorking viral loops to benefit their bottom line.

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Tupperware and PonZi Schemesthe Original Viral Models
Z The First Online Viral Expansion Loop
B The Spreadable Product as New Business Paradigm
A The Perpetual Viral Advertisement
When the Audience Decides Whats Good
Viral Video as Marketing Strategy Psst Pass It On
Z eBay and the Viral Growth Conundrum
The First Stackable Network
Flickr YouTube MySpace
fl Viral Clusters
Q The Search for a New Ad Unit
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About the author (2009)

Adam L. Penenberg is a contributing writer for Fast Company and a professor of journalism at New York University. He has written for the New York Times, Slate, Wired and The Economist, among others. A former senior editor at Forbes and reporter for, he garnered national attention in 1998 for unmasking serial fabricator Stephen Glass of The New Republic. Penenberg's story was a watershed for online investigative journalism and is portrayed in the film "Shattered Glass." He is the author of two previous books, Spooked and Tragic Indifference.

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