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  • Published: 30 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847942784
  • Imprint: Random House Business
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $35.00

The Cold Start Problem

Using Network Effects to Scale Your Product




A guide to scaling your business from one of Silicon Valley's most-esteemed investors.

'A true Silicon Valley insider' Wired

Why do some products take off? And what can we learn from them?

The hardest part of launching a product is getting started. When you have just an idea and a handful of customers, growth can feel impossible. This is the cold start problem.

Andrew Chen has a solution. As a partner at the pre-eminent VC firm Andreesen Horowitz, he has invested in some of the world's fastest-growing companies. Along the way, he's become one of the most renowned bloggers in tech - hailed by Wired as a 'true Silicon Valley insider'.

Now, Chen reveals how any organisation can surmount the cold start problem. His solution lies in the network effect: the way a service improves as more people sign up. It means that today's leading products - from Wikipedia to to WhatsApp - get more powerful with every additional user.

Drawing on interviews with the founders of LinkedIn, Zoom, Uber, Dropbox, Tinder, Airbnb and more, Chen unpicks how to start and scale these network effects. He reveals how to build an 'atomic network' that is just big enough to sustain itself. He uncovers how to spot the tipping point after which growth takes care of itself. And he explores why some big companies manage to sustain viral network effects for years (while others quickly stop growing).

The result is a one-stop guide to scaling a product, road-tested at some of the world's most valuable companies.

  • Published: 30 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847942784
  • Imprint: Random House Business
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $35.00

About the author

Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen is best known for his newsletter on tech and business, which has grown to nearly 200,000 followers in just over two years. He is currently a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, the investment company behind Twitter, Airbnb, Github, Lyft and Skype. He was formerly head of rider growth at Uber, where he oversaw an increase from 15 million to 100 million active users of the platform.

Praise for The Cold Start Problem

A true Silicon Valley insider.

WIRED

One of the best entrepreneurship blogs of all time.

ERIC RIES, author of The Lean Start-up

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