Viral Loop

Many of the most successful Web 2.0 companies, including MySpace, YouTube, eBay, Twitter and Flickr, are prime examples of what journalist Adam L. Penenberg calls a “viral loop” — to use it, you have to spread it. After all, what’s the sense of being on Facebook if none of your friends are? The result: Never before has there been the potential to create wealth this fast, on this scale and starting with so little.

Penenberg recounts the fascinating stories of the entrepreneurs who first har- nessed the unprecedented potential of viral loops to create successful online busi- nesses — some worth billions of dollars — that we have all grown to rely on. The trick is that they created something people really want, so much so that their cus- tomers happily spread the word about their product for them.

All kinds of businesses — from the smallest startups to nonprofit organizations to the biggest multinational corporations — can use the paradigm-busting power of viral loops to enable their business through technology. This summary can help any entrepreneur or business uncork viral loops to benefit their bottom line.