You only need 2,450,000,000 True Fans to be successful

by Mark Zuckerberg

Louis Barclay
3 min readJan 18, 2021

This is a guest post by Mark Zuckerberg, originally published here on the Cloakist blog.

Recently I’ve been reading about the theory of 1,000 True Fans.

WIRED founder Kevin Kelly came up with it 12 years ago.

In an essay titled 1,000 True Fans, Kevin says that if you want to have a successful business, all you need are 1,000 True Fans, each paying you around $100 a year.

1,000 x $100 = a yearly salary of $100,000.

Not bad at all!

Now, I think there’s a lot of truth to Kevin’s theory. But when it comes to numbers, he’s a little off.

Based on my experience, to have a truly sustainable business, you need 2,450,000,000 True Fans.

That’s it!

That’s the magic number.

Once you hit 2,450,000,000 True Fans, you can rest easy.

But they have to be True Fans. They have to really love what you’re doing.

For instance, nearly all of my 2,450,000,000 True Fans spend hours on my site — every single day!

Eat your heart out, Kevin.

Even if each fan only paid me one cent a year, I’d still easily be making enough to get by.

But in my case, each of them make me a full $23!

That means that by having just 2.45 billion True Fans, I make $56 billion dollars a year.

Maybe that doesn’t sound so great to you. But for me, it’s been a game-changer.

Every time I log into my Stripe account and see $4.7 billion coming in every month, I feel a huge wave of relief. I know that I’ll be able to handle the mortgage and finally pay off my student loan.

And, of course, I feel a wave of gratitude — not just to my close-knit community of 2.45 billion True Fans, but also to the 500 million early adopters of my product. I couldn’t have done it without those trailblazers.

So if there’s just one growth hack I’d recommend to indie hackers or creatives starting out along the long, hard road to financial independence, it would be this:

Try get at least two billion people to really love what you’re doing.

A lot of people may try to tell you that having just 100, or even 1,000 True Fans will get you to where you need to be.

They’re wrong.

You’ll only be able to be truly comfortable once you get to 2,450,000,000.

That might seem like a big number now. But just wait until you have 31.4% of the world’s population using your product on a regular basis.

Once you get there, I’m betting you’ll remember that time, not long ago, when you read these words of advice and thought ‘Hey…this growth hack is crazy, but it might just work!

Thanks to Louis Barclay (@louisbarclay) for allowing me the opportunity to write this guest post on the Cloakist blog.