Just over three years old, Clash of Clans rakes in more than $5M 1 2 3 each day and consistently charts in the top three grossing apps4. It’s the app that new game developers look to for inspiration.
However, the future didn’t always look so bright for the game’s creator, Supercell. In mid-2011 the year-old company realized their web- and Facebook-first strategy would never generate the hit game they needed 5 (this was late in the Facebook game fad), so they quickly shifted to a tablet-first strategy and killed all their old games6.
Product Hunt is where people go to talk about the best new products. Each day, members uncover dozens of new product launches and discuss their merits. In just three short years since launching in November 2013, Product Hunt has sent over one hundred million product clicks and views to the thousands of products on the site1. And just recently, Product Hunt was actually acquired by AngelList for a rumored $20M2.
Sequels are always worse than the original, and they always make more money. Captain America: Civil War brought in the most box office cash worldwide of any movie in 2016. It’s the third Captain America movie in 6 years, and it brought in 58% more than the second sequel.[2. 2016 WORLDWIDE GROSSES] Doing something new is always a risk while repeating something that already worked comes with a pre-made audience.
After being disappointed in their personal search for affordable luxury watches, two brothers decided to start the Warby Parker of watches1. With backgrounds in fashion and operations management, they began exploring the world of Italian watch manufacturing, and launched their first line of watches on Kickstarter2. Achieving fairly strong success, this first Kickstarter closed at just under $1M from 6k backers3. After the standard delays and challenges usually faced by first time manufacturers, they appear to have shipped watches about 10 months later (7 months past the initial promise)4.
Marketers are supposed to drive leads for sales to close. Or bring in orders for shipping to fulfill. Or bring in SaaS users for product folks to service. Once the customer is signed up, they’re moved down the customer lifecycle and handed off to a different department. But that’s forgetting arguably the single most powerful marketing channel: word of mouth.
Let’s look at CD Baby Back in 1998, Derek Sivers built CD Baby after seeing how many of his fellow musicians needed help getting their records on this new thing called the “internet”[1.
[This is the first in a series of articles exploring the driving factors of high-growth companies. Palantir in particular is interesting because of their B2B business model and their lack of traditional marketing or sales teams1.]
They helped convict Bernie Madoff 2, analyzed roadside bomb patterns in Afganistan, and are rumored to have helped locate Osama bin Laden3. They’ve worked with the FBI, CIA, Marine Corps, Air Force, and at least 8 other government organizations4.