Be Bold. Be Antifragile. Convert More.

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If you’ve been reading here a while or know me personally, you already know I read. A lot. I carry a book with me at all times, and I regularly download eBooks and check out audiobooks from the library. The two I’m reading now are Bold by Peter H. Diamandis & Steven Kotler and Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I chose Bold because I’m a huge fan of The Rise of Superman, also by Steven Kotler and Antifragile because Taleb’s last book Black Swan was a wake-up call.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is an integral part of Twisted Puppy’s business. Businesses that utilize CRO have a distinct advantage over everyone else because they’re learning how to grow. Whether your business needs more revenue, more subscribers, more viewers or more of something else, Conversion Rate Optimization is the smartest way to produce positive results.

It’s amazing how these two books feed directly into our research and discovery with CRO. Here’s why…


The Premise of Bold

Peter Diamandis, founder of X Prize, and Steven Kotler, founder of The Flow Genome Project, have written about building businesses that scale. We’re not talking about arithmetic gains. We’re talking about those big swings at the plate that lead to complete disruption and 10X to 100X (or more) growth. Think Uber, AirBNB, Slack. These companies are rocking big industries. How did they do it? Certainly not by small iterations. Theybsolutely tested their market, finding what worked, and then scaled massively. Bold works through many examples across a range of industries, but the kernel of CRO that shines true is experimentation to find what works: listen to the feedback, then make adjustments.

Key Takeaways for CRO

  • Don’t just do small experiments – think about some wild ideas and add them to your testing.
  • The truly successful companies today are iterating faster based on metrics and feedback. Are you?
  • Think REALLY big – not just 10X but 100X!


The Promise of Antifragile

We all know what fragile is, but chances are if you haven’t read Antifragile, you don’t know what it means. “Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness,” writes Taleb. “The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.” He explains that antifragile systems are comprised of smaller units that die off if they don’t handle the stress. Through trial and error, systems improve, gaining strength and building stronger survival systems.

In business, some firms fail, while successful ones grow and their products or business models. Their systems evolve by selecting adaptive features. So how does this align with CRO? First, we use heuristics for our experimentation. We can’t predict what will work, so we place small bets, doubling down on things that do work. Ultimately, we make better decisions faster.

Key Takeaways for CRO

  1. A heuristic methodology has a greater chance for success.
  2. Start with smart assumptions in your experiments. This requires some solid research.
  3. Feed the great ideas.
  4. Kill off the weak ideas quickly.


Putting It All Together

In nature, the strong survive. In business, the bold make the biggest gains. If you combine bold plans with smart survival experiments, you’ve created a recipe with interesting opportunities. Guarantee? No. But you’ll know fast whether you’re on a path that customers will gravitate to. And if you’re off the mark, you can listen, adapt and try again.

At the ConversionXL Live 2016 conference in March, we saw three of the world’s best copywriters do a makeover on a website. Each of them took pragmatic steps to improve conversion results. Each changed seemed so obvious. And yet, the results were inconclusive. Take two – the experts did it again. And again, the results were inconclusive. It may have taken a few rounds of changes, or more likely some bigger swings of the ax, to actually move the conversion needle. We often see some of the biggest gains from some radical experiments.

Be bold. Be antifragile. Convert more.