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18 Dec

Deepa Bhargava

Search Consultant

This is not about drugs!

Nor is it about a somber story having the Colombian jungle as backdrop ...

But you got to admit, apart from being illegal; drug cartels have developed one of the most efficient business models on the planet:

Fast, simple, self-sustainable, resilient, and networked.

Yes, they are cruel, despicable and do things which are reprehensible and inhuman.

And yes, I know that this subject is controversial.

But I will show you in a couple of lines that there are things we can learn from it.

Now, to the main point ...

How do you develop your business in this new fast-paced, transactional, networked and online world?


Many businesses are already exploiting this paradigm without even you knowing or noticing it (for some, it will even remain unbeknownst forever).

Dong Nguyen, the creator of “Flappy Birddiscovered painfully [1][2] what it means to suddenly go viral (without even planning for it) through the addictive effects of his game. And you got to admit that generating $50K per day is quite amazing on a single game! [3]

But it takes some guts to scuttle such a source of revenue!

Some others do not really care …

And are going IPO [4] …“Candy Crush” … Rings a bell?

I will introduce 5 main concepts which connected together offer a very powerful way to develop your business (and make it go viral) and for some of you simply explain how it all works:


Please don’t use them thought to develop illegal businesses.

Let’s get cracking!

[Note: the pun was not intentional]


“You got to start somewhere do you?”

Yes everything has a beginning.

[Note: I won’t philosophize on that though …]

And what is the best way to get customer hooked onto something?


Yes, we all love free stuff.

Flappy Bird”, “Candy Crush” and many other games are letting you play free given a couple of annoying adds or totally free for some time. A flurry of website let you browse through until you just can’t help it and are hooked to their content.

The science thought is to balance free content with paid content.

And that my friends requires some very serious skills!


“How beautiful is simple?”

No need to wear a black turtleneck sweater to understand that [5].

[Note: Though it seems to help].

Content which is not simple doesn't sell!

Interaction is a key factor and if it is not natural people just pass.

Been going flappy lately? Just one push of a button …

How simple is that?

Did you suddenly find a fingerprint sensor on your new iPhone?

Security? Oh yeah ... but so easy to buy thing ... that's the real stuff ...


“How to sell at lightning speed?”

If you don't sell your stuff in 30 seconds and deliver fast ... forget about it!

Winners understand that!

Why do you think Amazon tries to do its best to keep you online, simplifies checkout/payment and make sure that you get your stuff as quickly as possible?

[Note: and shows you videos of their new shabby drone ...]

Sustaining addiction can only be done in delivering goods or services as fast as possible to increase the reward and amplify the cravings.

Aren't we human after all? [7]

You couldn't wait too long ... Now you just can't wait at all!

Don't let them "think about it" ... you are screwed if you did ...


“Oh gosh, we do love to do the same thing! Repeatedly?”

Charles Duhigg, in his very good book, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business”, describes what he calls the habit loop.

[Note: That's a good book. You won't regret the money spent.]

It is one of the most powerful ideas which reached the bookshelves lately.

Quite simple and so powerful!

The cycle goes like that: CUE-ROUTINE-REWARD.


Sound a bit Pavlovian. [Note: Dog, task, sugar … got it?].

And yes, “Candy Crush” got it all … Again!

[Note: Candy, Sugar ... hum ... pondering ...]

What a nice music when you start it …

Oh ... I just got notified that I can get new stuff if I play ... CUE!

How comfortably similar it looks …
Same old candies …
Same relentless music …

Gotta love this weird looking dummy puppet ... ROUTINE!

And gosh … it feels so good to see the fish swimming on the screen …
And man … my efforts are paying off … I am a god at this game! REWARD!

[Note: If you are above level 350 ... stop reading this post ... you are hopeless!]

Now if you push it further ...

Wait a while and slowly increase the difficulty to reach the reward but keep the routine intact.

What do you get?

Extreme craving!

Addiction in play … again …

And how do you soothe the pain?

Pay a fortune to get what you want to feed your addition …


“Man, it is so good! Why don’t you try it?”

Oh yes, this stuff is so good that I need to tell my friends.

That’s the best stuff that can happen to your business: self-reinforced feedback [8].

Tell your friends and you will get some free goodies and maybe money.

[Note: Herbalife?]

That’s also a very good paradigm.

You propagate your ideas through your customer addiction and develop numerous habit loops!

And the best of it, once all your customer's network contacts are exhausted; they will still be craving for it as free stuff is ... gone.



I let you connect the dots ...

Note that I did not discuss the moral values of this model (though I hinted a couple of issues), neither its ethics nor its social implications.

This would certainly make a very interesting post as well.

I will let you be your own judge on that.

If by any chance you are the next “Candy Crush”, “Flappy Bird” or “Amazon” creator, remember your good friend ... the one that showed you the light …



This post originally appeared on Linkedin. Written by Yannick Feder

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