Zero to One Channel?

by Robert Palumbo

Peter Thiel has a famous quote on channel mix from Zero to One that I *used* to love, but I recently changed my POV on:

"The kitchen sink approach doesn't work... If you get just one channel to work you have a great business." - Zero to One

In retrospect, years of performance data now shows that the advice to "get just one channel to work" may have been misleading at best and toxic at worst for an entire cohort of high-growth B2C companies.

Here's why: in the 2010s, many VC-backed companies acted on this sort of rationale to justify pouring $ into the same 1-2 channels to pursue rapid growth ("at all costs!"). In 2021, a lack of channel diversification is a single point of failure for brands who over-indexed and now rely on >80% of revenue via FB, Google etc.

Leading growth operators propose a diversified mix:

Adam Singer, CMO at Think3:

"Amateur marketers over-rely on single channels for distribution and acquisition... Diversify your digital mix this is online marketing 101."

Mike Duboe, fmr VP, Growth at Stitch Fix:

"We wouldn't let any one channel get more than [x]% concentrated…measurement at SFIX was always around incremental/marginal CAC"

(source)

OutPoint is building tools to improve measurement and reduce the barriers to diversification