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Weekly Review #37: French Girls, marketing hacks, and meaningful drugs

Fun useless new app of the week goes to French Girls, where you post selfies and draw those of others’. Lots of slipshod quality out there, but when they’re good, man oh man they’re good. (PS I thought the name was genius, but even people who’ve seen Titanic don’t pick up on it!)

Andrew Chen reminds us there are only a few ways to scale user growth, and they are below. That’s it!

  • Paid Acquisition, Virality, SEO, Sales

I did some poking around into marketing, which led to Buffer’s massive list of words that convert, ConversionXL’s massive guide on landing pages, and Kissmetric’s comprehensive review of over 20 case studies on psychological copy. Great resources to refer back to.

The founder of Growth Hacking Sean Ellis preaches:

  • Traction is everything (Tinder cofounders visited sororities to onboard them, THEN went to the frats. effective)
  • Optimize the product for marketing (virality is not a feature. it’s built into the product)
  • Survey like crazy and learn about users
  • Think beyond content for inbound marketing (growthhackers.com exists to preach his product Qualroo)
  • Always Be Testing

An old New York Times articles questions whether the financial industry is actually valuable, and has far more evidence than I do to support our mutual conclusion.

Sam Harris has an insightful and incite-ful article on Drugs and the Meaning of Life, with, as usually, something to offend everybody.

  • If (my daughters) don’t try a psychedelic like psilocybin or LSD at least once in their adult lives, I will wonder whether they had missed one of the most important rites of passage a human being can experience.
  •  I’ve never met a person who smokes marijuana every day who I thought wouldn’t benefit from smoking less (and I’ve never met someone who has never tried it who I thought wouldn’t benefit from smoking more)

Alex Vermeer has a fantastic summary of Seth Godin’s Linchpin – here’s some key takeaways:

  • Depth of knowledge combined with good judgement is worth a lot.
  • Top 8 motivation factors for creative professionals: senses of challenge, flexibility, stability, money, personal development, peers, culture, and location.
  • The easier it is to quantify work, the less it’s worth. Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how.
  • Or if you ask Tim Kreider, ‘art is that which is done for the hell of it. The essence of creativity is fucking around.’