24Test of the Twins

Learn about Growth Hacking and Conversion Rate Optimization with Split Tests, Multivariate Tests, and Cohort Analysis.


This book almost had a different title. The publisher preferred that I named it Startup, Screwup, Scaleup, with the word Screwup in the middle. I didn’t like that idea because the normal lifecycle of a business model includes being born, growing up, and dying. It is the natural order of things. And besides, the word Screwup is the punch and thus it sits there at the end. I also thought that most people wouldn’t really care about the order of the words, but my publisher persisted. The marketing department believed that a “bad word” at the end of the title could hurt book sales in North America. To this, I replied, “In God we believe. All others bring evidence.”

To resolve the matter, I decided to do a test. I sent an e-mail over my mailing list of 10,000 people asking them how they liked my new book cover by clicking on it and rating it. What people didn’t realize was that I sent out two versions of the cover. Half of the subscribers received a bright, pink cover with the title Startup, Scaleup, Screwup. The other half saw a bright, pink cover with Startup, Screwup, Scaleup in their mailbox. I had also split both groups into North America versus the Rest of the World. The result of this Split Test was fascinating.

The publisher and I were ...

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