What makes something go viral? Is it the timing? The right moment? The technology innovation suddenly unlocking something that could never be done before?
Or is it doing something deeply human, something fun that makes us laugh out loud and want more?
If you haven’t heard of our AI cat that’s taking over the Internet, here’s a story you need to hear—and the lessons we’ve learned at Nobody Studios from it.
Cat-GPT grew to over 800k users in the first 2 months after launching. We activated our first commercial sponsor and are now one of the core themes of CatCon 2023 in Los Angeles. Cat-GPT has captured the imagination of cat and tech lovers, one of the largest niches on the internet. How’d we do it?
It started with a chuckle. “Wouldn’t it be fun to play at the intersection of cats and generative AI? And Cat-GPT sounds close enough to ChatGPT for people to really lean in.”
That was in December 2022. I coded up the first version that only served a random string of “Meow, meow meow meow!” in only a couple of days. In late March, while managing some other fun projects at Nobody Studios, a friend sent me a post with over 500k likes… “Is this yours!?” Cat-GPT came to life. Within days we had an integration with OpenAI, Google Analytics linked, and a proper account creation flow. We were capturing tens of thousands of emails a day. What was this recipe for virality?
When creating something that is both viral and of value in tech, technical innovation is as important as the social phenomena and signals.
What is value after all if not making somebody’s day better.
ChatGPT, while amazingly useful, is dry and monotone. Users must work hard to prompt it to show any kind of personality. Because of this, it can feel intimidating and even scary.
What Cat-GPT does is take the technological innovation of Large Language Models (LLM) and combine it with something we already value: Charisma! It serves fun cat GIFs along with AI generated answers coded to take the tone of a sassy, all-knowing cat. And people can’t get enough!
AI + Rizz is a new frontier. It’s going beyond the question of what AI can do for users and getting to the winning question: Can it do it with style? Can it make users smile and feel delighted while informing them and doing something insanely complex? Consider R2D2 and C3PO and how much their presence added to the Star Wars viewing experience. Make it with tech, but make sure it makes them smile.
As builders, we must look at technological as well as social trends and ask ourselves “what does this mean and how can it be leveraged to make my user’s day more delightful?”
This calls for non-linear thinking. This is asking “and then what” beyond the line of technology.
The benefits of building with a venture studio, such as Nobody Studios is that there’s a home for this multidimensional kind of building – either starting from the direction of exploring what social implications a new technology can have through experimenting in the marketing space, or beginning with the inquiry “here’s a social trend or phenomena, how can we accelerate that with either new technology or technology that we’ve already created here at the studio?”
Come build with us, I want to launch the next viral project with you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Launch Manager of Nobody Studios
In a race between learning and doing. Founder of venture-backed companies in several industries. Former professional pole vaulter with a degree from Princeton University and a background in history, economics, technology and design. “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.”