Forbes has a story this morning: “Going Viral: How Codecademy Snagged 200,000 Users in Seven Days.” It took three months for the blog of money-record to write this story about Codecademy’s “Code Year,” the project by the company’s 21 and 22-year-old founders that challenged people to learn to code in 2012 and netted a total of 408,000 registered users. “Perhaps only new Apple products can boast a quicker absorption rate,” Forbes writes. Wow!
Debuting at 5 p.m. on Jan. 1, Code Year drew 16,000 people in seven hours; by day three, 100,000. “We tried really hard to make the sign up process as frictionless as possible,” says Sims.
Learning to code is super trendy and these guys are offering it to the world for free via a frictionless sign-up process. Calling that viral growth is like bragging that you stood in the middle of Times Square and passed out 408,000 free Snickers bars.
New Year’s resolutions are notoriously ineffective. So, we’re wondering, how many of those 408,000 people, who signed up to learn to code, including Mayor Mike Bloomberg, have actually followed through with it?
Codecademy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. So we paged through the startup’s Twitter feed and saw–a random non-techie friend tweeting about how he’d hit 1,000 points! Dammit. Feeling shamegrammed, we decided maybe we’d try to crack this thing open again.
UPDATE, 1:54 p.m.: Codecademy co-founder Mr. Sims responded by email: “We usually don’t share numbers publicly (the Code Year number is public on the website, but that’s basically all we’ve shared).” Right.