Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Chung is King of Marketing

Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to write about some of the "ah-ha" moments I've had about important business principles and why they matter. By talking about how I came to that understanding, hopefully I will make the principle visceral to the reader and simulataneous fill up space on my blog. The first one I want to discuss is viral marketing, especially as it relates to the spreading of content.

Viral marketing is a simple principle. You tell one person, they tell all their friends, all their friends tell all their friends. It's like rabbits making babies. The initial growth trajectory of these networks appears exponential, though eventually it will peter out. Companies like Hotmail and Paypal all hardwired this marketing mechanism into their business models to great success.

What I find fascinating is the way great content spreads virally with virtually no effort or careful business planning. Great examples of this are the JibJab video and how the Lazy Sunday video tranformed Youtube.com into a major player in the entertainment industry.

My first experience with great, virally distributed content was the infamous Peter Chung / Carlyle Group email. It was the Spring of 2001 and I was an intern at JP Morgan investment banking. This gem of an email spread to every major investment bank, financial institution, and university in a matter of days. Peter had just left his job at Merryl Lynch investment banking to work at Carlyle in South Korea. This email is what he sent his former co-workers who proceeded to send it around Wall Street (apparently they didn't like him much). It's amazing the how powerful great content is. I wonder what Chung is up to these days? [Note, I edited the curse words slightly by adding the * character]

From: Peter Chung
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 20:26:21 -0400
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19) Content-Type: text/plain

So I've been in Korea for about a week and a half now and what can I say, LIFE IS GOOD....

I've got a spanking brand new 2000 sq. foot 3 bedroom apt. with a 200 sq. foot terrace running the entire length of my apartment with a view overlooking Korea's main river and nightline. Why do I need 3 bedrooms? Good question, the main bedroom is for my queen size bed, where CHUNG is going to f*ck every hot chick in Korea over the next 2 years (5 down, 1,000,000,000 left to go) the second bedroom is for my harem of chickies, and the third bedroom is for all of you f*ckers when you come out to visit my ass in Korea.

I go out to Korea's finest clubs, bars and lounges pretty much every other night on the weekdays and everyday on the weekends to (I think in about 2 months, after I learn a little bit of the buyside business I'll probably go out every night on the weekdays). I know I was a stud in NYC but I pretty much get about, on average, 5-8 phone numbers a night and at least 3 hot chicks that say that they want to go home with me every night I go out.

I love the buyside, I have bankers calling me everyday with opportunties and they pretty much cater to my every whim - you know (golfing events, lavish dinners, a night out clubbing). The guys I work with are also all chilll - I live in the same apt building as my VP and he drives me around in his Porsche (1 of 3 in all of Korea) to work and when we go out. What can I say,.... live is good,...

CHUNG is KING of his domain here in Seoul

So, all of you f*ckers better keep in touch and start making plans to come out and visit my ass ASAP, I'll show you guys an unbelievable time.
My contact info is below.... Oh, by the way, someone's gotta start fedexing me boxes of domes, I
brought out about 40 but I think I'll run out of them by Saturday.....


Peter Chung
The Carlyle Group
Suite 1009, CCMM Bldg.
12, Yoido-dong, Youngdeungpo-ku
Seoul 150-010, Korea
Tel: (822) 2004-8412
Fax: (822) 2004-8440

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