Some Thoughts On The Success Of Code Year
Code Year, which I blogged about a couple days ago, has now signed up over 100,000 in two days. That's a lot of signups for a brand new service in just two days. How did they do it? Here's some suggestions on the key drivers:
1) an awesome idea. "give me your email address, we'll send you interactive coding lessons weekly" is a damn good idea. tim o'reilly told the codecademy guys "i wish i'd thought of this". that's the definition of a good idea.
2) well timed – launching as a "new year's resolution" is genius. but also launching in a "dead news period" was equally genius. jan 1st and jan 2nd of this year were slow news days. so Code Year got plenty of airtime in the tech blogs and news aggregators over a sustained two day period.
3) the landing page is clean, simple, and well designed. the call to action is simple. here's a blog post from the designer explaining how that page was designed.
4) the use of twitter and facebook to spread the word is simple and powerful. after you give your email address, you are given the option of tweeting out or posting to your wall. TechCrunch says 50% of the site traffic comes from Twitter and Facebook (with Twitter coming in at >33%).
5) a small ask. they didn't ask for money, the service is free. they simply asked for an email address, something everyone has and most are willing to share in return for real value.
So kudos to the Codecademy team and everyone else who was involved for great execution of a service launch. I am looking forward to getting my first coding lesson and getting started.