Tuesday, November 27, 2007

website needs traffic? an empirical study of the power of free beer (the drankkit effect)

We wanted to meet some of our users, but just the 4 of us wouldn't be enough of an incentive, so an open bar was necessary -- Wired even offered to pick up the tab.

I don't even remember who suggested it at the marketing meeting, but when they turned to me and asked if a free beer tour sounded like a good idea, my response ("Yes!") came quickly and emphatically. And thus drankkit was born.

Sure, it also seemed like a good way to possibly generate some traffic for reddit, but I had no idea...

The first announcement came out on October 9th, announcing the SF meetup on the 16th and our tentative plans for the rest of the "world tour."

Here's a chart showing the percentage of growth in unique visitors starting a month before the start of drankkit (so you can compare the growth-rate change):
(those regular dips are statistical anomalies known as "weekends")

Now, I know that correlation doesn't mean causation, but let's just disregard that for a moment and stare in awe at the power of free beer. It's not to be questioned.

We've got two more stops left (L.A. on 11/29 and D.C. on 12/7) and I hope they'll be as successful.

I also hope that this entry will be instructive for current Web 2.0 startups looking to generate some traffic. The optimal solution is undoubtedly to throw open bar events. The more funding you have, the bigger the parties should be. What could go wrong?

Maybe you'll even show your appreciation by putting team reddit on the guest list (there's only 4 of us, anyway). We'll bring pins.

*tip of the hat to Dr. Slowe for teaching me what my UVA stats class didn't