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CEO of Rapportive, Rahul Vohra, discusses two models for vitality - the simple model and the more realistic, hybrid model. In the hybrid model, companies split user acquisition efforts across both viral and non-viral channels. Often the viral factor in the hybrid model is less than 1, and can be more accurately thought of in terms of amplification factor.

Post #2: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20121011190820-18876785-how-to-model-viral-growth-simple-loss

Post #3: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130402154324-18876785-how-to-model-viral-growth-retention-virality-curves

  • MB

    Morgan Brown

    about 6 years ago #
    This is one of the best, clearest posts on viral growth I've read in a long time. Many of the posts on virality are far too simplistic and focus solely on the viral coefficient, K and the loop. This article does a great job of breaking down how virality can work in a K < 1 reality (which is true for most things, most of the time) as amplification for non-viral channels. Here's a quick summary from the article:
    • True viral growth is very rare; for a consumer internet product, a sustainable viral factor of 0.15 to 0.25 is good, 0.4 is great, and around 0.7 is outstanding
    • When the viral factor is less than one, it can interpreted as the amplification factor a = 1/(1-v). To calculate the total number of users, multiply the number of users acquired through non-viral channels by the amplification factor
    • When the viral factor is less than one, it is crucial to have strong sustainable non-viral channels
    • Small increases in the viral factor can cause large increases in the amplification factor

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