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A Summary of

Community Takes All: The Power of Social+

by
D'Arcy Coolican
a16z
View original

One rule of thumb: the best version of every consumer product is the one that is intrinsically social. See Tiktok, Fortnite, and Minecraft.

The Benefits of Social+

  • Growth loops
  • Engagement
  • Retention
  • Defensibility

The Hallmarks of a Social+ Company

  1. Have a unique and proprietary social graph that is purpose-built for that product
  2. The social graph is critical to the product
  3. Peer-to-peer social engagement is baked into the product itself

The Challenge in Building a Social+ Company

  • Social+ product has an interaction and transaction layer
  • Interaction: appeals to emotional and cognitive side
  • Transaction: functional and rational
  • Combining both layers is a balancing act, one cannot overtake the other

How to Build Social+

  • Business model: how and when will you monetize?
  • Product: does the social complement the transactional?
  • Go-to-Market Strategy: social loops or traditional marketing?
  • Category: is the behavior inherently social?

Categories That Have Gone Social+

  • Social+Music: Spotify vs. TikTok
    • Spotify is a single-player experience, TikTok made it social by licensing music and introducing viral challenges
  • Social+Gaming: Fortnite vs. Assassin's Creed
    • Assassin's Creed lacks social elements, no user generated content

Emerging Social+ Categories

  • Social+Shopping: Amazon vs. Pinduoduo
    • Pinduoduo has gone from a market cap of zero to more than $100 billion, showing potential of social commerce
  • Social+Spoken Audio: Audiobooks/podcasts vs. Clubhouse/Chalk
    • Clubhouse and other startups have layered in a social network and more user generated content
  • Social+Sports: ESPN vs. Sleeper/Overtime
    • Sleeper/Overtime are building true social+ experiences around sports

Open Social+ Categories

  1. Social+Fitness
  2. Social+Food
  3. Social+Real estate
  4. Social+Money
  5. Social+Education

The Future is Social+

  • Social has had negative connotations: misinformation, clickbait-driven, outrage-driven
  • Social is a universal and timeless need
  • Doesn't exist in a vacuum, helps find ways to layer social into so many activities
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