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Startup Growth Engines: Case Studies of How Today's Most Successful Startups Unlock Extraordinary Growth by Morgan Brown, Sean Ellis

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Yelp’s Five-Star Growth Engine

 

In 2004, Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons, former PayPal employees (part of the famed ‘PayPal Mafia’ of entrepreneurs that includes Elon Musk and others [9]), reconnected at MRL Ventures, a business incubator founded by former PayPal co-founder Max Levchin. Their goal was to come up with a new consumer Internet concept, in particular something related to looking up local businesses online.

 

That same summer, Stoppelman came down with the flu. He looked around online in an attempt to find a doctor, but all the information was pretty general and very unhelpful. He and Simmons started thinking about a way to combine social networking and reviews, eventually coming up with a service that let users ask their friends ...

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