WARNING: MUST BE OVER 18…What I Learned from Syphilis: Epidemiology & Viral Marketing


Track: Marketing and Community
What I Learned from Syphilis: Epidemiology &
Viral Marketing
David Hornik, General Partner, August Capital

My Takeaways

• This was a rehash of Mr. Hornik’s famous or infamous FOO camp presentation.
• In person vs. what I read online – he rocks

Key Insights
• Don’t be like Plaxo (over the top); that is a virus no one needed. Find a balance!
• Viral Marketing is the new currency; if you do it well, your chances of survival grow
• Those email sign up formulas to show adoption really are important!
• Make sure your virus is hard to remove 

The Notes

Pulled from Christine Herron’s blog. (http://christine.net). Thx for posting these – saved me time!

What are the characteristics of good viruses in epidemiology?

Highly communicable
Of special note are viruses that prey on conventions, such as the handshake. The convention of the handshake enables one sneeze to infect people all day long.

Prey on vulnerabilities
As Hornik says, “Not all orifices are created equal.” Those that rip more easily are more vulnerable to blood-borne infection, and so AIDS made its early threat upon the gay community.

Align with essential consumption
The bacterial contagion that causes diarrhea comes from fecal matter, and when people don’t (or can’t) wash well, viral agents spread via food preparation.

Super contagions don’t need vulnerabilities
Worms don’t need to access blood in order to infect you; they simply dig right into your skin and take up residence in your organs.

Piggyback onto pleasure
An overwhelming number of viruses are transmmitted sexually, and taking drugs is essentially mainlining viruses.

Don’t be lethal
Dead or really sick organisms (such as people) are less mobile than others, so if you kill the host, you can’t propagate.

Be asymptomatic
The “good” viruses are silent but deadly, and since you don’t know that you have one you will go around spreading it. Herpes is a more benign example and often lies dormant. Syphilis is a dangerous example, gaining the strength to kill you during its dormancy.

Efficient distribution
Viruses need people; to spread effectively, they go to where the people are. Enclosed spaces such as hotel conference rooms and airplanes are wonderfully efficient in spreading Legionnaire’s disase.

Inject into carrier genes
Viruses mutate the rest of your cells; they blend in with your own DNA, and it’s hard to separate out the good from the bad.


One Response to “WARNING: MUST BE OVER 18…What I Learned from Syphilis: Epidemiology & Viral Marketing”

  1. 1 tomeintuiltes

    My Name is, John
    lots of info on here
    this is my site:


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