Nordic Track Book Club Review: Social Network Business Plan

The Social Network Business Plan: 18 Strategies That Will Create Great Wealth is a 2009 work by David Silver. It’s very current with a few really good takeaways.  Silver builds on the concept of a “Recommender Community,” which is both obvious and novel at the same time.  Enjoyable read. 4-out-of-5 [NordicTrack] Stars.


p.xv The purpose of marketing is to make selling easy. A social network that encourages reviewing, ranking and recommending is the new marketing tool.

p.xix You will need to learn the singular importance of the words “trust and verify.” MySpace and Facebook do not build trust among their members, and the statements of their members are not verified.

Perfect business models are always built on truthfulness. The more the truth flows between buyer and seller the more perfect is the business model. The greater the trust, the loyalty and the respect that grows between buyer and seller, the more efficient the marketplace.

p.xxiii The floodlights are on you. Treat your recommender community as a theater filled with your script, your clear, brightly colored vision of, and passionate faith in, your views.

One thing I know to be true, placing ads on Facebook, MySpace and Second Life are worthless tactics to find new customers.

p.31 Eight factors of demonstrable economic justification for recommender communities. Existence of large number of receivers. The existence of competent providers. Absence of institutional barriers to entry. The “Hey it really works!” factor. Early documented successes.

You want to operate the community quietly for several reasons. The formula could be adopted by a competitor. The enemy will want to regard you as a tiny blip on their radar.

p.37 The powershift is from the age of mass produced quality and the introduction of continually degrading service, to the age of experience where consumers tell stories of their experiences with products and services.

p.77 For online communities one need merely to find a market in which a large number of people have a homogeneous pain, are not obtaining quality information that would relieve their pain, and are willing to pay a relatively minor cost in joining a community and collaborating with others who share the same pain and would gain some form of relief in talking about it.

p.89 There will be “powered by…” sponsors.  Many of the fans of rodeos are farmers and ranchers, and they drive pickup trucks.

p.99 Online Community Loyalty builders: mapping or “watch us grow.” Every member gets her own website. Membership identifiers. Lockers. Award status.

p.113 You can forget about the sustainability of MySpace, Facebook and other general purpose online networks. They aren’t sustainable businesses. Their business model, based on advertising, is not economically justifiable. Very few of their members look at the ads, and billions of dollars are being wasted trying to reach them.

p.115 However online recommender communities make money and become sustainable, the stronger ones will have as many as 18 revenue channels. Those that review, rate and recommend consumer products and services will earn money through a 19th revenue channel: new product branding.

p.125 The pain solving that will occur over the next several years will be equally tectonic as consumers join truthful marketplaces.

p.144 Social Network Entrepreneurs are energetic, single minded and have clear visions.  You intend to create, out of your visions, a new service embedded in an online community that will serve a central human need and improve the lives of millions.


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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.