This past week, tech stocks took a tumble, but one startup managed to hold its ground remarkably well: Duolingo, the online language learning app. In fact, despite being down just 1% over the past six months, Duolingo is now worth a staggering $3.2 billion. So what's the secret to Duolingo's success?
One key factor is the company's use of behavioral science principles to drive engagement and progress. One particularly effective technique employed by Duolingo is the concept of the streak. You may be familiar with this concept from comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who used it to skyrocketing his career. Seinfeld committed to writing one joke per day, and he would mark each day on a large calendar with an X once he had written his joke. The more X's he accumulated, the harder it became for him to break the streak. The calendar served as a visual cue of the hard work he had put in, how far he had come, and a reminder that breaking his streak wouldn't just mean missing a day of joke writing - it would mean breaking his streak altogether.
Duolingo employs a similar technique. Each time you complete a daily language lesson, you add a notch to your streak. This simple but powerful trick taps into several key behavioral science theories:
Duolingo's use of the streak is just one example of the company's clever use of behavioral science principles to drive growth. It's clear that these strategies have been highly effective, as evidenced by Duolingo's impressive track record and valuation. Have you noticed any other brilliant techniques that Duolingo has leveraged to drive growth?
Decoding the Why explores how high growth companies can ideate, validate and accelerate product growth by leveraging behavioral science.