Otis Chandler, founder and CEO of Goodreads, gave an exclusive to Techcrunch and attributed the stellar growth of the Goodreads community to 4 main factors:
First, he said, Goodreads has now built up “a critical mass of book reviews.” He said he isn’t sure about exactly where the threshold was, but with more than 25 million reviews, Goodreads now covers enough titles that you can find lots of useful content.
Second, he said Goodreads has seen “explosive” mobile growth. He noted that with all that review content, users are going to want to look up titles before they purchase them in bookstores, and the easiest way to do that is from their phones. Plus, he said it reflects “where people are when they’re reading books” (if they’re out at the beach and they finish a book, the easiest way to post review or a rating is, again, likely to be from their phone) and the fact that “more people are reading on mobile devices than ever before.”
The third factor has been Goodreads’ international growth. He didn’t offer any specific numbers, but he said he’s been surprised to see that growth since the site hasn’t really made a concerted effort to promote itself globally, and in fact doesn’t offer any localized versions outside the United States — that’s something that’s going to change, he said.
Chandler also credited Amazon as having a positive effect on Goodreads' growth. Amazon's extensive customer base offers useful opportunities, plus Amazon has a lot of resources of their own.
Speaking of Amazon resources, Goodreads recently vacated the offices they moved into last September. The 58 Goodreads staffers (up from 35 employees at the time of the acquisition) just moved into a new San Francisco office and now occupy one of Amazon Music’s empty floors.