Well, I can’t be sure beyond a reasonable doubt, so you be the judge. On Feb 2, I published this post entitled Viral Growth Trumps SaaS Churn, which makes the simple case that the best way to fight churn (exponential decay) is with virality (exponential growth). About two weeks later on Feb 15, Seth Godin published this strikingly similar post on viral growth entitled Viral Growth Trumps Lots of Faux Followers, which makes the simple case that the best way to fight faux followers (exponential decay) is with a viral idea (exponential growth).
Hmmmm…great minds must really think alike!
First I should say, I love Seth Godin’s stuff. I’ve snagged way more of Seth’s stuff than vice versa, for example SaaS Do #4 Craft a Compelling Story is completely Seth Godin’s and is the main topic of his book All Marketers Are Liars (and, is listed in the Chaotic Flow Worthy Reads blogroll). Believe it or not, my wife Christy is currently reading Seth Godin’s latest book Linchpin as I write this (and highly recommends it). But, IF Seth Godin really is reading Chaotic Flow, I think at the very least a pingback or comment is in order. C’mon Seth, share the love.
As an avid admirer of all things ironic and self referential (like…uh…viral growth), I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to examine this particular case study in light of itself. So, I am proposing a second order derivative viral growth vs. big followers principal of Seth Godin’s first order derivative viral growth vs. faux followers principle of the original viral growth vs. churn principle.
Highly Connected Followers Trump Viral Growth
Seth’s principle that Viral Growth Trumps Faux Followers claims that it is better to spread a good idea to a small group and rely on the strength of the idea to move it along through viral growth than it is to spread a mediocre idea to a big group of faux followers by brute force, because their interest will soon wane and your idea will eventually die out. I’ve recast Seth’s depiction of this principle in the chart below.
Seth’s viral growth vs. faux followers chart shows how many people are talking about your idea at any given time. This version, which is more in line with the original viral growth vs. SaaS churn post shows the total number of people who have heard of your idea.
There is an underlying assumption in Seth Godin’s viral growth model that when removed is the source of this new principle. Seth assumes Read more »