All posts by rcheyder

Have You Heard of Growth Hacking?

I stumbled upon this article recently about one startup company in Asia that presented their latest product to an audience, called App Virality. What this product does is allowing web developers to monitor their application’s usage like an analytical dashboard and to grow their application ‘organically’ with tools such as surveys or polls and in-app testing (Millward, 2014). While I was interested in this app, but I was more intrigued by this term which is heavily used in the article, Growth Hacking. According to the article, App Virality is essentially “a growth hacking toolkit” for app developers but what does this mean?

You would think that the term growth hacking has bad connotation. However this terms is actually introduced by the Sean Ellis, the man who helps various internet companies in Silicon Valley achieve growth in their startup stage, when he searched for his replacement in every startup company he worked for (Patel & Taylor, n.d.). This is Sean Ellis job advertisement:

Growth Hacker Ad

Growth Hacker Ad (source:

Basically growth hacker is a person whose job is to grow companies using methods beyond traditional marketing. The term hacker was added because hacker is often referred to someone who is ingenious in finding solution that often overlooked by people when achieving his/her goal which in this case is growth (Patel & Taylor, n.d.).

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Kaskus: Does Recommendation Agent Really Matter?

We are going to discuss a bad example of recommendation agent (RA) used by an Indonesian e-commerce/ online forum platform, Kaskus. You would immediately think that this platform performs badly these days, but you cannot be more wrong. Recently, Kaskus announced that the site has achieved 600,000,000 page views every month and 40,000,000 users registered to the site which certify Kaskus to be the biggest online forum in Indonesia (Lukman, 2014) and Indonesia’s #1 website in 2013 (Redwing, 2013).

Kaskus started as an online bulletKaskus Logoin board forum for gamer communities (Wee, 2012). When the traffic picked up, the users saw the opportunity to sell their things in the forum and thus e-commerce threads were popping up everywhere. Seeing how many e-commerce threads were created, Kaskus established a sub-forum called Kaskus Jual Beli (KJB) or Kaskus Selling and Buying especially for e-commerce threads.

For a long period of time, KJB has no recommendation agent what so ever to assist the buyers when purchasing something. What it had was merely content filtering system which was very inefficient because KJB had too many thread posts. Recently, however, KJB started to implement rule based preference elicitation to its existing RA system.  This new type of RA is arguably effective because there are many different types of item sold. For example, if we want to buy a puppy (Yes, real puppy!) then the condition rule such as “new” or “second” will not be valid anymore.

Kaskus RA

Continue reading Kaskus: Does Recommendation Agent Really Matter?

RUMA: Crowdsourcing it to the poor

Crowdsourcing is a type of participative activity by a group of people in response to a task given by an institution or an individual (Estellés-Arolas & Gonzalez-Ladron-de-Guerva, 2012). While crowdsourcing is often used in a context of generating innovative ideas (Adler & Chen, 2011; Majchrzak & Malhotra, 2013), there are other types of use of crowdsourcing. According to a book by Daren C. Brabham (2013), a problem-based typology of crowdsourcing approaches includes Knowldedge Discovery & Management, for example, where an institution or an individual mobilizes a crowd to find and assemble information. This type of approach has been used by an Indonesian social enterprise company called PT. Rekan Usaha Mikro Anda (RUMA), or translated to “Your Micro Business Partner”, to achieve its social agenda while making profit to the company itself.

Started as an idea for a business game competition, RUMA aims to empower the poor population of Indonesia and help them to create profitable business through micro-franchising while simultaneously generating profit for the company. To do so, RUMA uses information technology such as mobile phone which has been extremely high in its penetration even among the poor in Indonesia. Continue reading RUMA: Crowdsourcing it to the poor