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How Long Does It Take to Hit 50 Million Users?

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How Long Does It Take to Hit 50 Million Users?

How Long Does It Take to Hit 50 Million Users?

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

Imagine it’s the year 1960, and you’re an entrepreneur that’s about to launch the next big thing.

Let’s assume that your product is actually pretty revolutionary, and that you’re going to receive widespread buzz and word-of-mouth traction. How quickly do you think it could be adopted by millions of users?

Before the internet and consumption of digital goods, the use of a product could only spread as fast as you could manufacture the physical good. You would first need many millions of dollars in capital, a plant, a workforce, and inventory. Then, once the product is ready for distribution, you’d need mass advertising, word-of-mouth, sales channels, and press coverage to stand a chance.

Even then, if the product is really revolutionary, you’re looking at a decade or more for it to get widespread adoption.

Atoms Versus Bytes

Automobiles took 62 years to be adopted by 50 million users. The telephone took three years just to be in the homes of 50,000 people.

But these are both physical goods that need raw materials, skilled workers to produce, and economies of scale. They are made of atoms – and atoms must abide by the laws of physics.

In the modern era, you don’t have to produce a physical good. All you need to do is produce a useful piece of code that can be replicated indefinitely at a marginal cost near zero. Today’s chart shows how the transition from physical to digital has affected adoption rates, and it also further demonstrates the power of network effects.

Product / TechnologyTime it Took to Hit 50 Million Users
Airlines64 years
Automobiles62 years
Telephone50 years
Electricity46 years
Credit Cards28 years
Television22 years
ATMs18 years
Computers14 years
Mobile Phones12 years
Internet7 years
Facebook4 years
WeChat1 year
Pokemon Go19 days

Metcalfe’s Law

Metcalfe’s Law states the effect of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2).

Within the context above, it simply means that each additional user of a good or service adds additional value to others in that network. New goods or services in the digital realm can harness this network effect to gain users at unprecedented rates. It’s why social media, apps, and the internet were able to take off so quick.

It’s also why the augmented reality game Pokémon Go was able to reach a mind-blowing 50 million users in just 19 days.

And now, with unparalleled connectivity and more than four billion internet users globally, the next big thing could hit that milestone even faster than Pokémon Go. Instead of almost three weeks, it might do so in a few days – or even a few hours.

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The post How Long Does It Take to Hit 50 Million Users? appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

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The Demographics of Wealth

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The post The Demographics of Wealth appeared first on The Big Picture.

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Transcript: Dr. Ed Yardeni

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  The transcript from this week’s MIB: Dr. Ed Yardeni is below. You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Bloomberg, Overcast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher and Bloomberg. ~~~   ANNOUNCER: Masters in Business is sponsored by Harvard Business School Executive Education offering four comprehensive leadership programs that transfer rising executives…

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The post Transcript: Dr. Ed Yardeni appeared first on The Big Picture.

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The Never Ending Question: Is China Deleveraging?

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The never ending question about China is simple: is China deleveraging? A couple of pieces recently argued that China had reached a tipping point that yes, China was in fact deleveraging.  Just as a general point I think it is … Continue reading
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A ride-hailing veteran is creating an Uber on the blockchain that won’t be controlled by capitalists

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A file picture dated 22 September 2015 shows a view of Didi Kuaidi's smartphone app for customers shown on a mobile phone along a road in Beijing, China. US technology giant Apple has invested 1 billion US dollar in the Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing (formerly Didi Kuaidi), a rival of Uber in China, the company said in a statement on 13 May 2016. Apple's investment is the largest received by the Chinese company, a leading ride-sharing company in the local market with a share of 87 percent owing to its 300 million users, who hire 11 million rides daily.

Imagine a decentralized version of Uber that connects drivers and commuters, letting them negotiate fares directly.

That’s one possibility with a ride-hailing service powered by the blockchain. An “Uber on the blockchain” might sound like a clumsy attempt to mash together two tech buzzwords, but Chen Weixing, who is building such a service, is a sharing-economy veteran who helped shape the world’s largest ride-hailing market, China. His company Kuaidi Dache merged with its arch-rival Didi Dache in 2015 to become Didi Chuxing, which a year later merged with Uber’s China unit and now dominates ride-hailing in the country.

“Ride hailing is the first time blockchain will be tested on a social application on mass scale,” Chen reportedly said on the sidelines of a tech conference in China (link in Chinese) on May 27.

Chen, CEO of an app-development firm called Fun City, is a known blockchain enthusiast, having invested in a long list (link in Chinese) of Chinese blockchain projects, including Qtum and Tron, and exchange operators such as Binance and Huobi.

Though he hasn’t revealed a timetable for his blockchain-powered ride-hailing service, Chen shared some details in a WeChat post, according to Chinese media (link in Chinese). In it, he said the decentralized platform wouldn’t be controlled by “capitalists” but instead would be shared between “laborers” and “consumers.” Billing it as a “great, Nobel Prize-level social experiment,” Chen said the project will be a collaboration between him and Yang Jun, co-founder of Chinese group deals app Meituan. Quartz has reached out to Fun City for more information about the project.

This won’t be the first foray into blockchain-based ride-sharing. Arcade City, for instance, launched in Austin, Texas in 2016 as an ethereum-based ride-sharing app. But the controversial project split into two brands last year after its leadership engaged in a public spat over management issues.

Chen does seem to sense an opening in the Chinese market. Whereas Didi once held a monopoly in China, it appears the country’s ride-sharing wars have reignited after Tencent-backed Meituan announced it was expanding into the business. As Didi recovers from a PR nightmare after a female passenger was murdered, smaller players like Dida also see an opportunity to win over more users.

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The creator of WordPress shares his secret to running the ultimate remote workplace

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Apple iPad with the latest operating system

A great many companies allow their employees to work from home now, but few are as committed to the concept at Automattic, the software company behind WordPress.

Automattic’s more than 700 employees are spread across the globe in 62 countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe. Last year, it closed a San Francisco office because not enough employees were showing up. Instead of offices, Automattic provides workers with a $250 a month stipend to spend at co-working spaces, or in a Starbucks.

Matt Mullenweg, the company’s founder (his first name gives Automattic its two Ts) argues that a distributed workplace, as he calls it, is not just good business but is more ethically responsible, as well. Offices he said, “are very exclusionary environments, by definition, and the only people who can contribute are people who can physically be at the office and at certain hours of the day.”

One one level, that excludes anyone who’s life circumstances mean they can’t commute to work in a conventional office, Mullenweg said. “At a larger level, there’s the 99.9% of the world that isn’t physically located in a place where they can make it to that office,” he said.

The Grand Meetup

Paradoxically, a critical part of making the employees of a distributed company work effectively on their own is occasionally bringing them together. Automattic flies team members to meet in small groups, and once a year it brings the entire company together in a gathering called the Grand Meetup.

The Grand Meetup is where new employees are brought into the fold and make face-to-face connections with their colleagues from around the world. Using data visualization on the company blog, Boris Gorelik demonstrated what the company looked like on the eve of the 2016 Grand Meetup at Whistler, British Columbia.

In the image, each dot represents an Automattic employee, and the lines between them indicate if they’ve ever met in person. The colors represent broad clusters of people who have more ties between each other than with those outside the color . New employees, who had only met a few others, are on the periphery of the denser employee networks. But after the Grand Meetup, the map looked like this:

Most of new employees had been closely drawn into the network. The secret, Gorelik says, is carefully planning the seating assignments at meals. No one sits wth the same co-workers more than once, forcing even the most reclusive new hires to make dozens of connections. “You may think that such an arrangement would be emotionally exhausting,” Gorelik writes. “You are absolutely right. However, in the long run, this exhaustion pays.”

Mullenweg launched WordPress 15 years ago and now the open-source platform is used by about 30% of all websites, and 60% of content management systems (including ours at Quartz). His goal is to serve 85-90% of the web, and expects Automattic to grow as well. That could make future Grand Meetups much more elaborate and costly undertakings, but Mullenweg is unfazed by the prospect. Any gathering beyond five employees is already complicated, he said.

“You can take five people out for dinner anywhere in the world, but when you get to 10-15, you need a reservation,” he said. “The jump from five to 15 is a bigger jump than 200 to 2,000.”

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