Ten Million in Ten Weeks: Stanford’s Facebook Applications

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BJ Fogg presented about how the student’s of BJ’s Facebook class developed 50+ amazing apps, 10 million installs, and 1 million daily users.

They start by running through the background to the class and the founders of the class. They call it the Stanford Facebook Class and describe how they were making it up as they went. They thought they were going to have each student make 3 apps each, which may have been over ambitious.

Thought they would get 20 students, and 120 showed up for the class. They ended up with 80 students. BJ, Dave McClure and the TA’s aught 2 classes per week.

Four or five applications were really successful, such as KissMe. They got lots of press coverage, some of which was good, some not so good.

Students independently set up a Sunday group meeting that is still going on. The final was an open expo with over 500 people attending to see demo’s of the applications. You can find the student presentations at bayCHI

$500,000-$1,000,000 revenue generated by class, three companies formed, 2 companies acquired, lots of job offers and a few drop outs.

Phase 2 – 2 month experience to try again eg Oregon Trail (sp?)


  • Never too late to build new app
  • Simple apps won
  • Speed and iteration matter
  • Community cooperation leads to success – more sharing, more success
  • Individual opinions are worthless, need the crowd to judge
  • Copying success is cheap/fast way to succeed
  • Metrics matter, but today’s tools are weak – had to build their own
  • This is a learnable skill
  • Success comes from chaos/control cycle
  • Mass interpersonal persuasion is finaly here

[tags]gspwest08, graphing social, Stanford Facebook Class[/tags]

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One thought on “Ten Million in Ten Weeks: Stanford’s Facebook Applications

  1. Alex,

    Thanks for your post. Since the Stanford Facebook Class ended there have now been 25 million installs of student apps and some of the students have started companies. We never knew the class would go like this. The class was a process where we coached the students and everyone had something to learn.

    In case you’re interested, I’ve got a paper out now about Mass Interpersonal Persuasion, which is what Facebook and other social networks have made possible. It is an academic paper that will be published but I promise you it’s not boring. And it’s only 12 pages long. You can find it here: