The Cold Start Problem

by Andrew Chen

Category: Business & Economics

Book Reviews

  • If you're looking for a great read on startups with lots of behind the scenes stories, look no further than @andrewchen's The Cold Start Problem to Tweet
  • My @a16z friend @andrewchen spent ~3 yrs researching high-growth companies (Uber, Dropbox, Airbnb, Pinterest…) and drawing on his experiences to write "The Cold Start Problem" digging into what makes winning networks. Check it out! (link supports @Water) to Tweet
  • New book by @andrewchen. Useful for anyone trying to bootstrap a new community or network, which is virtually every founder these days. to Tweet
  • Every company and every business starts at zero customers, zero users. And grows from there. ⁦@andrewchen⁩’s book The Cold Start Problem is a masterclass in how to think about growth for your product and company. to Tweet
  • This is one of my favorite excerpts from @andrewchen’s new book. It’s about PayPal’s double referral program. The same tactic that was later used by Dropbox to reach millions of users. Get Andrew’s book today and learn all about startup growth: to Tweet
  • Remember @andrewchen talking to me about the idea of writing a book years ago. Since then it’s been amazing to see the journey his book ( and our lives!) have taken. Special to now tweet this as a colleague. His book is out today, go get a copy! to Tweet
  • 🚨 Book Launch Day! 🚨 a16z general partner @andrewchen’s The Cold Start Problem is available now! It's the definitive book on network effects, based on 3 years of research & interviews with founders at Twitch, Tinder, Zoom, Airbnb, and more. Order at to Tweet
  • Learn more in @andrewchen's book: The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects. Available everywhere December 7th, order it here: to Tweet
  • I’ve already had the privilege of reading @andrewchen’s new book and it’s fantastic! Required reading for anyone aspiring to build a network effects driven business. Pre-order now! to Tweet
  • I've already had a chance to read @andrewchen's new book, which will be a must read for any startup looking to achieve high growth through network effects. Pre-order it now! to Tweet

About Book

A venture capitalist draws on expertise developed at the premier venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, and as an executive at Uber to address how tech's most successful products have solved the dreaded "cold start problem"--by leveraging networks effects to launch and scale towards billions of users. Although software has become easier to build, launching and scaling new products and services remains difficult. Startups face daunting challenges entering the technology ecosystem, including stiff competition, copycats, and ineffective marketing channels. Teams launching new products must consider the advantages of "the network effect," where a product or service's value increases as more users engage with it. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants utilize network effects, and most tech products incorporate them, whether they're messaging apps, workplace collaboration tools, or marketplaces. Network effects provide a path for fledgling products to break through, attracting new users through viral growth and word of mouth. Yet most entrepreneurs lack the vocabulary and context to describe them--much less understand the fundamental principles that drive the effect. What exactly are network effects? How do teams create and build them into their products? How do products compete in a market where every player has them? Andrew Chen draws on his experience and on interviews with the CEOs and founding teams of LinkedIn, Twitch, Zoom, Dropbox, Tinder, Uber, Airbnb, Pinterest -- to provide unique insights in answering these questions. Chen also provides practical frameworks and principles that can be applied across products and industries. The Cold Start Problem reveals what makes winning networks successful, why some startups fail to successfully scale, and most crucially, why products that create and compete using the network effect are vitally important today.

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