Lessons Learned – Viral Marketing and The Ultimate Productivity Hack is Saying No


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 04, 2023

4 min read


Lessons Learned – Viral Marketing and The Ultimate Productivity Hack is Saying No

In the world of marketing, viral growth is the ultimate goal. The ability to spread your product or service like wildfire, reaching new customers at an exponential rate, is what every marketer dreams of. But how exactly does viral marketing work? And what can we learn from it?

One of the key variables that drive viral growth is the Viral Coefficient. This is essentially the number of new customers that each existing customer is able to successfully convert. To calculate this coefficient, you simply multiply the number of invitations by the conversion rate. The Viral Coefficient must be greater than 1 in order to achieve true viral growth.

However, the most important factor in increasing growth is not the Viral Coefficient, but the Viral Cycle Time. This refers to the time it takes for the viral cycle to complete. A shorter cycle time dramatically affects customer growth. The formula for calculating viral growth includes the Viral Coefficient raised to the power of t/ct (Viral Cycle Time). By reducing the cycle time, you can have a far more powerful effect on growth.

But how can you ensure that your product or service goes viral? The answer lies in making it shareable. The most viral products are those that only work if they are shared. Think about how you can make your application or product social, where it would work better by sharing data with friends or co-workers. The value proposition of your product must be so compelling that customers will want to share it with others. And to incentivize sharing, consider providing the friend receiving the invitation with an equal incentive.

Now, let's shift gears and talk about productivity. In a world where we are constantly bombarded with requests and opportunities, the ultimate productivity hack is learning to say no. When you say no, you are only saying no to one option. But when you say yes, you are saying no to every other option. As Tim Harford, the economist, puts it, "Every time we say yes to a request, we are also saying no to anything else we might accomplish with the time."

Saying no is a decision, and it is a skill that should be developed at any stage of your career. It allows you to retain the most important asset in life: your time. As Steve Jobs wisely said, "People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully."

But saying no doesn't mean you'll never say yes. It means you default to saying no and only say yes when it really makes sense. This is similar to Derek Sivers' "F..ing Yes? Otherwise No" framework. If an opportunity is exciting enough to drop whatever you're doing right now, then it's a yes. If it's not, then perhaps you should think twice.

Ultimately, the key to productivity is elimination. More effort is wasted doing things that don't matter than is wasted doing things inefficiently. Peter Drucker once said, "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all." This is why saying no and eliminating unnecessary tasks is a more useful skill than optimization.

So, what actionable advice can we take from these lessons? Here are three tips:

  • 1. Focus on creating a product or service that is inherently shareable. Make it social and provide incentives for customers to share with their friends.
  • 2. Learn to say no and guard your time. Default to saying no and only say yes when it truly aligns with your goals and priorities.
  • 3. Prioritize elimination over optimization. Identify tasks and activities that don't contribute to your overall goals and eliminate them.

In conclusion, viral marketing and productivity may seem like unrelated concepts, but they share common principles. By understanding the importance of the Viral Coefficient and Viral Cycle Time in marketing, and by learning to say no and eliminate unnecessary tasks in our daily lives, we can achieve both growth and productivity. So, embrace these lessons and apply them to your own endeavors.

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