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Following the Rules

The One Weird Trick for Writing the Perfect Spam Ad


…is to use the phrase “one weird trick” in the headline.

Keep up the great and original work.



Recently we ran a survey to answer the question:

How many partners (both hookups and long-term dating) is the right amount to ensure you’ll be happiest once married?

Check out this video for the insights – including answers to these burning questions:

  • How does income affect your number of sexual partners?
  • Do men or women have more sexual partners?
  • Which parts of the US had the highest number of sexual partners?
  • Does the amount of money you make influence marriage happiness?
  • Does your age affect your marriage happiness?
  • Are women or men more happy on average with their marriages?
  • How does your marriage happiness change the longer you’re married?
  • How many short term partners will lead to the highest marriage satisfaction?
  • How many people should you date before getting married?

Here’s the video:


Put in your email here for instant access to:

  1. The Raw Dataset Used in the Study
  2. The Exact Questions Asked
  3. A PDF Transcription of this Post for Reading On the Train

I’ll also send you updates on the latest posts from Following the Rules –

Or fill out the form on the right side of this site.

Hope you enjoyed the video, and please let me know what you think!



Bag of soylent

The woman at the front desk of Dom & Tom sent me a message today:

“Alex, there’s a really large box here for you”

“Could it be???!???”

After ordering during beta, and following the updates for the last 8 months, Soylent has arrived!!

For those who don’t know, Soylent is the meal of the future – it’s goal is to give you all the nutrients you need to survive in one beverage.

So I’m putting it to the test. I ordered a two week supply and, starting tomorrow, I’ll be eating only Soylent for the next 9 days.

I’m excited 1x1.trans Eating Nothing But Soylent For 9 Days.... It Might Not Be People, But Its Delicious

Why Solent?

1) I love the idea of all things future and eating only powder is a great way to experience it.

2) The average meal in NYC costs $12…. Soylent costs about $3 per meal — that means if I can get used to eating only Soylent, I’ll be able to 4x my spending money.

3) It’s healthy. If there’s anything I love more than the future and money, it’s systems. Soylent is a great way to eat healthy without even thinking about it.

And so the Soylent experiment begins…..

[click to continue…]

the following the rules outsourcing twitter experiment header

The Opportunity:

I was in Chinatown yesterday talking to friend, and he mentioned a tweet he sent out.

I told him I didn’t have a chance to respond.

After I said that, he said I was someone who didn’t retweet things very often, even though I tweet all the time, so he expected it and wasn’t surprised.

That got me thinking….. Sure, I’m too busy most of the time to reply or retweet, but what if I outsourced it? Would I get the same results? It was time for an experiment.

The experiment lasted one week, and the goals were:

  1. See if posting on Twitter and favoriting comments regularly makes people reach out more often with invites to social events.
  2. Determine if I feel more connected to my Twitter following.

To further test this, I threw a quick post up on oDesk looking for virtual assistants and social media managers to handle my Twitter account.

[click to continue…]


How to Get Your Skilled Friends to Help You For Free


Can you spot which of these messages would be more effective when asking a skilled friend for free help?


“Hey man, would you mind writing a landing page for this event I’m having?”


“Hey, I wrote up some language for the event, but would love to have your feedback on the copy since I know you’re so great at it! Would you mind taking a quick look?”

Another quick example:

“Hey, can you point me toward a couple great WordPress templates?”


“Hi, I’ve been researching websites for the last 30 minutes and came up with these three templates for the new site – which one do you think would work best?”

Imagine how you would feel getting that first message. It’d probably go something like:

“So you’re my friend, asking me to do something that is worth six figures in some markets FOR FREE, and you won’t spend 10 minutes of your time to speed up the process? If it’s not worth it to YOU to do a little bit of research, why should I even bother?”

Now, let’s check out the second request:

“Hi, I’ve been researching websites for the last 30 minutes and came up with these three templates for the new site – which one do you think would work best?”

A top performer is going to look at this and think something like:

“Hmm, all I have to do is open up an email and pick a template, and I’ll be doing a favor for a friend? Yeah no problem, I’ll get on that.”

A top performer reading that second message will see that you care enough about the project you’re asking them to help with — that you took an empathetic approach and realized that they’re at least as busy (probably busier) than you are — and so you are only asking them for a small favor, of something you couldn’t do yourself, rather than asking them to complete an entire project for free.

When asking for help, it’s much better to bring them into a project slowly, ask for small favors and do 85-90% of the work on your project FIRST. Once you’re able to do that, one of your more skilled friends will be more than happy to help you take it to 100%.

Ever do or see a friend do this? Ever had it happen to you? Write back and let me know!