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The Science of Growth: Facebook vs. Friendster, or Why Some Startups Skyrocket - and Others Don’t

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30 review for The Science of Growth: Facebook vs. Friendster, or Why Some Startups Skyrocket - and Others Don’t

  1. 4 out of 5

    Thing Two

    I received an ARC at the bookstore I manage, and started reading it out of curiosity. It's an excellent resource for new and growing businesses. Full of lots of tips, interesting examples, and useful evaluation tools. It was missing a lot of the graphs, so I can only think it will be that much better once it's published. The author is an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon, as well as a venture capitalist. He spends his days evaluating businesses and teaching future CEOs how to run them. There' I received an ARC at the bookstore I manage, and started reading it out of curiosity. It's an excellent resource for new and growing businesses. Full of lots of tips, interesting examples, and useful evaluation tools. It was missing a lot of the graphs, so I can only think it will be that much better once it's published. The author is an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon, as well as a venture capitalist. He spends his days evaluating businesses and teaching future CEOs how to run them. There's a lot of good stuff in here!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Outdoors Nerd

    The referenced scientific research makes this excellent book a ‘stand out’. It is full of the standard Silicon Valley experiential references too. A solid book explaining what Growth isn’t ... and a detailed list of what you can do to achieve it in many forms.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Still

    This book is a fantastic guide that shows on a high level how your start up should scale. There are excellent case studies and actionable processes that can be utilized to grow the right way. This book has a permanent place on my bookshelf.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cameron S Dixon

    The science of growth starts with a great premise, how can you identify and create a Facebook instead of a Friendster, or put any other large company vs. its counterpart that failed. Yet, the problem with this book is it's giving a hindsight bias. Showing why each product succeeded but doesn't really give a true formula for success. Instead of creating hypotheses, this book does exactly what you aren't supposed to, look at prior cases and derive why it was successful.... In many cases, the autho The science of growth starts with a great premise, how can you identify and create a Facebook instead of a Friendster, or put any other large company vs. its counterpart that failed. Yet, the problem with this book is it's giving a hindsight bias. Showing why each product succeeded but doesn't really give a true formula for success. Instead of creating hypotheses, this book does exactly what you aren't supposed to, look at prior cases and derive why it was successful.... In many cases, the author goes on to say something to the lines of.... You should always take funding! everyone should take funding! Yet, some companies fail because they take funding, and... if you're one of those companies that will fail by taking funding, don't take funding!!! Friendster took money and failed, yet Mcdonalds took money and succeeded. The author somehow tries to derive that one should have taken funding while the other shouldn't. Of course, this is easy to see post mordem; any of us could have done this. Throughout the book, the only insight that is valuable is from the quotes he takes from other founders and extremely simplistic business ideas, like for example treating your customers well. I was highly disappointed in this book and recommend passing on it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Scott Holstad

    I was intrigued by the book's title because I'm one of the few people I know who not only remember Friendster -- the first actual social media network on any large significance -- but because I was a member! Before, like everyone else, migrating to MySpace only to move on to Facebook just another couple of years later. I always thought Friendster made some bad decisions that turned out to be bad business moved that ultimately destroyed their business, and these self-inflicted wounds should have I was intrigued by the book's title because I'm one of the few people I know who not only remember Friendster -- the first actual social media network on any large significance -- but because I was a member! Before, like everyone else, migrating to MySpace only to move on to Facebook just another couple of years later. I always thought Friendster made some bad decisions that turned out to be bad business moved that ultimately destroyed their business, and these self-inflicted wounds should have been entirely avoidable. Thus, I was curious to see what the author would say about this, as well as the other examples used in the book. The book wasn't quite what I hoped for, possibly because the author may have been a bit too ambitious in trying to refer to too many examples and sacrificing depth for quantity, but they had their reasons and it's not like the book was a failure. It was good; I only thought it could have been even better. In any event, it was good to see this type of book and it was nice to see current or recent startups many of us have experience with ourselves being used as the focus on which the book is based. Recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cliff Chew

    I think the title of this book sounds gimmicky, but I actually quite like this book. The book tries to cover various stages of a startup, right from thinking about product-market fit to how to scale and grow your company. I feel that this book is suitable for someone who is interested to understand the different phases of a startup. In terms of actual use, there are nuggets of useful thinking points and advice that can be extracted from this book, but by no means think of this book as a startup I think the title of this book sounds gimmicky, but I actually quite like this book. The book tries to cover various stages of a startup, right from thinking about product-market fit to how to scale and grow your company. I feel that this book is suitable for someone who is interested to understand the different phases of a startup. In terms of actual use, there are nuggets of useful thinking points and advice that can be extracted from this book, but by no means think of this book as a startup manual. From it's writing style, I don't think that this was the intention of the author for his book as well. I particularly love the author's coverage on viral growth and network effects, although I felt that he could have written even more on certain aspects of viral growth. His discussion on network effects was quite deep, and that really caught my attention. I think my preference for the sections of the book that I like is also due to those sections being more meaningful to me. I wouldn't say that the other parts of the book are bad, but maybe I don't find them as relatable as the 2 sections that I have mentioned.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Lin

    This book makes great comparisons between similar tech companies. It’s worth reading if you don’t know much about these tech companies. Sean teaches Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University. He shared lots of exciting stories and tech insights with us in class. I love his teaching style and deeply respect him.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Annaliesa Potter

    Great read. Some pieces with statistics and patterns were a little too in depth and beyond my understanding but context of them was understood. Great inspiration and knowledge for any startup or small business - even one that is already started.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nopadol Rompho

    This book is about how to grow our startup. It uses the case studies to show how Google, Facebook, YouTube, Tesla etc. grow their businesses. It is good to learn from the best like this.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Passo

    Received this in a Goodreads giveaway. Found it to be more of a reference tool than something to sit down and read. Never actually finished it but will keep on the shelf.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Petr Bela

    The book was written primarily as a course textbook for a class the author teaches at CMU. After reading the book the first time, I was a little bit disappointed. The focus is quite broad, providing a high-level overview of some tactics the researched companies employed without actually going deep into their numbers, thought process or tools they used. Furthermore, pretty much all the companies are so well known that you've probably heard their stories already. Paragraphs that explain what Airbnb The book was written primarily as a course textbook for a class the author teaches at CMU. After reading the book the first time, I was a little bit disappointed. The focus is quite broad, providing a high-level overview of some tactics the researched companies employed without actually going deep into their numbers, thought process or tools they used. Furthermore, pretty much all the companies are so well known that you've probably heard their stories already. Paragraphs that explain what Airbnb is and that it changed the hospitality industry belong to Forbes/Wired rather than to what's supposed to be a "startup manual". Edit: After getting back to the book, I found it serves well as a reference material for trying certain growth strategies, optimizing your product and innovating your business.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Megan Troxell

    Key takeaway - steer my fact-finding five-year-old towards a career as a data scientist. I don't think I'm the target audience for this book but there are still a lot of good nuggets in it and it made me curious about some things, encouraged me in some things and will give me a different perspective on some things in life, work and my use of technology in the consumer role. Key takeaway - steer my fact-finding five-year-old towards a career as a data scientist. I don't think I'm the target audience for this book but there are still a lot of good nuggets in it and it made me curious about some things, encouraged me in some things and will give me a different perspective on some things in life, work and my use of technology in the consumer role.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dogsandbooks

    A lot of MBA speak but interesting details on case studies of current high flyers like Airbnb and pay pal. Max network value by building network before product, offer abundant general interest content to expected target market, test with customers by making testing a rare benefit. DPL book 152.something

  14. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    This covers startup 101-301 with insightful case studies for the beginner and in depth analyses for high growth companies. Ammirati is a VC and gives perspective on how a startup should think and plan for scaling. Recommended!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tim Baker

    While the author definitely did his homework and knows a lot about what made some startups make it while others failed, I don't think he really went deep enough in many aspects. I also found it very odd that MySpace was not talked about once in here, especially in regards to Facebook. While the author definitely did his homework and knows a lot about what made some startups make it while others failed, I don't think he really went deep enough in many aspects. I also found it very odd that MySpace was not talked about once in here, especially in regards to Facebook.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Randy

    Interesting insights into the research on company growth and sustainability.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  18. 4 out of 5

    Will Menkhaus

  19. 5 out of 5

    J B

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ian

  21. 5 out of 5

    Samwharton

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steven Barilla

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pat

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Yang

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rohan Monteiro

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jared Quincy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bryan D.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kalle Ek

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Lee

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