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Growing An Asocial Company in a Social World

Social networks have phenomenal growth characteristics. Though the barrier to entry is high (convincing a group of people to simultaneously believe it’s a good idea), once you’ve on-boarded enough adopters (e.g."tipped" a school or a country), the returns are overwhelming. Most of the focus on growing a startup over the last few years has been on the mechanics of growing social networks like Facebook or a Zynga game.
In today’s world, cloud services are beginning to replace desktop apps. A few examples include, iTunes to Spotify, Microsoft Office to Google Docs, Quicken to Mint. While there is a lot of opportunity for new cloud services to replace their aging desktop app counterparts, the same growth lessons learned from the Facebooks, LinkedIns & Zyngas of the world are not necessarily relevant to these new asocial apps.
Drawing on lessons from Dropbox, the discussion will cover both high level strategy and specific tactics to growing a non-social network to millions of users.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What are the fundamental differences between social and asocial products?
  2. How do you create (and measure the success of) a viral loop even if it seems there is no hope?
  3. How do you create network effects even when they haven't existed previously?
  4. Why is A/B testing critical, and what are some best practices?
  5. How do you model viral growth vs. traditional growth to help decide what projects to work on?



Rebecca Sekar, Account Coordinator, Allison+Partners

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