Making your application viral

Daniel Tenner has written an interesting post on how to make you application viral.

The core model for viral growth is the following: viral coefficient = (average number of users invited by each active user) x (proportion of invited users that actually join or become active) x (proportion of such users that invite others). Daniel provides a checklist of techniques designed to optimize the viral coefficient. The general techniques are as follows:

  • Make inviting people a core part of the process.
  • Keep pulling people back in
  • Be useful even if there are no other friends using the application.
  • Remove artificial invitation limits.

Detroit – Ground Zero for Economic Collapse

Here is a video showing how badly Detroit has been affected by the collapsing housing market. Towards the end of the video you can see some amazing mansions in the worst-hit areas of Detroit that you can supposedly buy at a massive discount.

Social Collapse – Best Practices

Hmmm…. first I read this transcript from a speech by Dmitry Orlov entitled “Social Collapse – Best Practices”, and then I saw on Boing Boing the post How are you coping with Collapse-Anxiety?

The first post describes what might happen if the US collapses in the same way economically as the USSR did in the 1990’s. It then goes on to making recommendations about what to focus on – essentially food, transportation, shelter and security. I thought it was fascinating because although I have been thinking for a number of years that the economic situation was going to get bad, I didn’t envision quite a collapse of that order of magnitude. As the crisis continues however, the possibility suddenly seems to become credible.

I found the comments interesting in the Boing Boing post. It seems as though quite a number of people were actually starting to find themselves in situations reminiscent of those described in the first post – primarily from posters in the US. Scary.

Comparison of Downturns

A while ago, I created a Mathematica plot comparing the Great Depression, the Tech Crash and the Oil Crisis with the current financial crisis. This analysis was inspired by a chart I saw last year comparing these recessions with our current situation. Anyway, I thought it was worth bringing the chart up-to-date.

[Edit] The original chart I saw was this one.[/Edit]

Comparison of four economic downturns
Comparison of four economic downturns

Ghost-written by Who?

Here is John Howard (Australia’s Prime Minister during the start of the last Iraq War), and Stephen Harper (Canada’s Prime Minister at the same time) giving the same, almost word-for-word speech in Parliament justifying the need to go to war.

Lehman Brothers

I just popped down to the Lehman building here at Canary Wharf to see what was going on. There were a few people standing outside, and news crews filming – but overall it seemed pretty quiet.