Startups and The Magic Number Seven

startups number seven 7

Keith Rabois really knows his stuff and I find his answers on Quora to be some of the best, especially when it comes to early stage company building.

To be truly successful on the Internet, you need to build something that becomes one of seven sites that a large swath of users will regularly use

This is a great way to evaluate companies whether to start, join, or invest.

Initially I wasn’t sure on the significance of seven, so I did some Googling.

Turns out that seven (plus or minus two) is a “magical number” in psychology as cited by George Miller of Princeton University. Known as Miller’s Law, it argues that the number of objects an average human can hold in working memory is 7 ± 2.

While I haven’t used Rescue Time in a while, I’d be curious to look at its aggregated data set and see how often an individuals’ top seven sites change.

I imagine for most people there are 2 or 3 sites that rarely change (ex: your preferred search engine, likely Google), but as you move to sites 4 through 7, I’d be interested to know more about turnover.


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