Technology Waves and How to Ride Them

A few days ago in our team meeting I asked if anyone had ideas for what this week’s Divinations should be about. Someone suggested I write about how to create a viral product launch, since Lex’s launch went so well. My first reaction was that it was a good idea for a column, but readers might not love hearing that step one is “wait for a generational technology breakthrough.” Or, perhaps a bit more actionably, “build something using GPT-3.”

The truth is, Lex’s virality is entirely dependent on the underlying technology wave it is riding. I’ve launched many apps in my career using very similar tactics as I did to launch Lex—none of them went this well. Sure, there’s value in learning marketing techniques, but if you apply them to products that don’t generate “holy shit” moments, you won’t get the same result. Furthermore, it’s rare to achieve that kind of visceral reaction to a product without tapping into a new, rapidly-improving technology.

“That’s the post!” my co-founder Dan said. “You should write about technology waves.”

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