Content != Network Effects
I'm now reading The Content Trap - A Strategist's Guide to Digital Change. It really accentuates the shift in perspective required for growth-hacking. Be the platform for users to create the contents and connections. The author Bharat Narendra Anand simplified growth-hacking into the following mantra:-
- Create to connect.
- Expand to preserve.
- Dare to not mimic others.
So if you're an entrepreneur looking to develop the next big thing, build tools that facilitate network effects. Such tools doesn't even have to be exactly technically-oriented. It could very well be socially-oriented. Shared access. Community perks. Get people to make the connections. Transform networks into marketplaces. What better way to generate network effects by putting incentives on the table and leveraging on user-engagement?
Here's another another book I'm reading to challenge my thoughts: Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction. The author, Derek Thompson makes a few crucial points which may help out with our thoughts and actions as stakeholders trying to grow this network:-
- Virality of content is a myth.
- Familiarity beats novelty.
- Distribution beats content.
Content can undoubtedly generate network effects on their own merit, but what may matter more are the resources available to encourage the formation of connections, networks, and marketplaces between users on the platform. So here we have a platform that provides growth-hacking opportunities with the use of utility-tokens, communities, and effective UI/UXs that may be used to leverage on network effects. Some food for thought for the rest of us on this platform. All we need to do now is experiment.
PS: This is also exactly the mainstream vs. indiestream conundrum. Innovative content usually happens in the outskirts and the core is usually boring, yet it's the part that receives the most resources. In any case, supercharging connections and distribution channels will be a great win for all. The value of content in a social landscape lies in the network effects that it creates.