Andrew Chen, a blogger and former advertising executive who worked with MySpace, calls a viral loop the “most advanced direct-marketing strategy being developed in the world right now.”
It’s an interesting piece, but it can be boiled down to this: create something good, something people really want, need, or enjoy. If you do, people will adopt it and share it—the act of which can make you filthy rich.
[UPDATE] Marc Canter has some rough commentary on Ning and Fast Company’s puff piece.
I create software to better the world – to provide mechanisms to connect people together. Ning sees social networking as the latest fad – and they exploit that notion to better themselves. Now the Libertarians and Republicans out there are now saying: “what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that what it’s all about – money?” I can just visualize Jason Calacanis rubbing his grubby hands together saying “money – money – money” And since this is a free country Ning certainly has the right to do whatever they want – sort of like how the Gun lobby and Military industrial complex has the right to build arms that kill people. Only this time- the weapons are social networks.
Canter also claims that Ning “copied” his ideas.