LeWeb’09: Timothy Ferriss

Live notes from LeWeb’09. They could be inaccurate, although I do my best. You might want to read other posts by official bloggers, in various languages!

Presentation about building following. Building a global phenomenon with less than 10K$.

There is a heavy price to pay for achieving consensus. The initial title of 4HWW was “drug dealing for fun and profit”. Walmart told him the title was vetoed (rejected all over the place). Used Google Ads, bidding on search terms related to the content of the book. Used a dozen of prospective titles and subtitles in the ads, and saw which got the best clicks.

Objective end 2006: 20’000 earlyvangelists for his book in 2 weeks. If you have 10K sales in a week, you have a high probability of hitting a list, but you can easily be knocked off the list, so he wanted 2 weeks.

3 Tipping points: indirect, direct, meta.

  1. 43folders. Podcast with Brian Oberkirch at SXSW, by chance. First indirect exposure that triggered more similar coverage. Rather than target the high-traffic blogs, but target the thought leaders who are read by the high-traffic ones.
  2. Scobleizer. Had a huge impact: “I’m going on a trip and taking this book with me.”
  3. Micro Persuasion. The launch and the books popularity became newsworthy.

Pitching feature articles? Probably not going to happen.

Another principle: sell around the product (phenomenize, polarize, and communitize).

A few findings: blog post on the shortness of life (intro to Seneca). People are addicted to new. Current hits rather than all-time. “Copy” is the most underestimated element you can test, e.g. Topics rather than Categories.

Twitter, Slinkset, Evernote. Collects stuff on Evernote, then sends it to Twitter via Slinkset.

Video is interesting because it takes less time to produce. There is a value in adding text. Value in what you don’t say or show.

steph-note: all this talk about micro-improving to make things more efficient is not really my cup of tea — I mean, I know it’s important, but that’s not my way of functioning. Apologies if my notes are a bit flakey.

Gyminee. Too many clickable elements above the fold.

Posterous. Another example, they weren’t really answering the question “how will I use it”.

How not to pitch, a book by Tucker Max.

Plan big, test assumptions, and start small.

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