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Going Viral: How Codecademy Snagged 200,000 Users In Seven Days - Forbes

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I really, really like Zach. Reminds me a lot of Drew Houston.

How so?

How is that likability a liability?

Confirmation bias. :)

I think it's a net positive though; Drew and Zach are so much unlike other startup CEOs I've met, they seem similar. I think it's that they don't seem to take themselves too seriously, and seem humble about their relative successes.

Would either of them be able to handle if things suddenly stopped working?

They seem too used to success.

Would Zuck? Would Bill Gates? Some folks will know few -- if any -- professional failures in their career, even if they have product or business strategy failures.

And yes, it sucks being used to success and then not having any. But maybe they have personal or family issues that help build the strength of their character.

Let's hope so. I'd like to believe they have character.

Growth Hack: Make something people want to share.

Debuting at 5 p.m. on Jan. 1, Code Year drew 16,000 people in seven hours; by day three, 100,000. “We tried really hard to make the sign up process as frictionless as possible,” says Sims. “It also turns out this was a commitment that people really wanted to share.”


Growth Hack: Make it free, and worry about money later.

One slight hurdle: None is a paying subscriber. “It’s a natural thing for startups to transition from getting users to generating revenue,” Sims argues, “Not to say that money isn’t a concern.” (He’d sooner release his proprietary code as reveal his burn rate.)

Growth Hack: Focus on registrations, not engagement.

That helped grab the attention of Wilson’s Union Square Ventures, billionaire investor Yuri Milner and superangel Ron Conway, who led a $2.5 million round in October. (Sims won’t give up just how much equity that funding bought.) Now with seven employees packed into an office in lower Manhattan’s NoHo district, Sims claims 1 million registered users, including the crowd who signed up for Code Year.

OK, Forbes -- now do the story on how they had 200,000 good educational outcomes. No? Thought so.


Hence the focus on registrations, not engagement -- or outcomes! :)

For outcomes, see CodeLesson and Bloc.

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