Insights about viral growth from Ray Chan, co-founder of 9GAG

by aishyza

Contrary to perhaps what some may think, I actually love my day job. Simply because I get the privilege to learn from entrepreneurs on a daily basis. And once in a while, get lucky learning first-hand from the more inspirational ones, like Ray.

The recurring theme that surfaced during his intimate sessions with a few startups can be summarized in 3 words;

know your users

Sounds simple yes? But I learnt today, not easy to master.

Knowing your users is key to creating recurring value. It’s not just about getting users to download you app. It’s about getting users to like the product, engage with the product, trust you. Only when you’ve built this trust can you expect them to let go of their paranoia about privacy.

Creating value stems from giving users what they want, without them having to do anything. Yea you got it,

people are lazy

So you gotta be able to be accurate in your targeting. Push the right promotions to each individual user at the right time. Get as much info about your customers. Know their taste, their behavior. Reach out to them. If necessary, incentivize them to give their authentic email. We all know most facebook email accounts were created while in high school, pshhh.

Being generic makes you bullshit. Do you really expect to get viral growth sending out template emails every saturday evening at 7pm? Look at your user data! What are users browsing at? How can you make it more personal, relevant, influential. Remember users are lazy so they don’t have time to click that share button for you. They only share for vanity (and the cheapos maybe for money).

Let me burst a bubble for you;

you cannot create trends, you can only ride on it

Things like mobile and e-commerce are picking up in Asia. Assuming you’re in trend, you would know that on mobile, people expect relevant things to pop up, rather than them having to browse themselves. Takeaway tip on riding trends: Do things people are not doing. Easier to leverage from potential partners that way.

Disclaimer: This is a personal post of my takeaways from a day in my life so I don’t represent any views of Ray or the startups he interacted with.