background preloader

The only metric that matters

The only metric that matters
I've been lucky to be part of the early growth of several really interesting and now important networks including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. One of the things that I felt working on each of these is that we never looked at numbers or metrics in the abstract -- total page views, logged in accounts, etc, but we always talked about users. More specifically, what they were doing and why they were doing it. At LinkedIn we didn't talk about "total page views", but instead "profile views" - how many people were using LinkedIn to search for and find other people, and how many people were on LinkedIn being viewed. At Twitter while we had (and they still have) crazy page view numbers, we talked instead about how many people were looking at their timeline and reading tweets or tweeting. When I meet new companies today, I often hear things like "We have 10M uniques with 30M page views per month." How many people are really using your product? You need a metric that specifically answers this. Related:  Processes and MeasuresProduct Management ArticlesSaas Metrics and Tips

What Every Company Should Know About Agile Software Development Does your company make medical devices? How about cars? Or appliances? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then your company is a software company. Agile software development is no longer a “bleeding-edge” approach. Agile’s value is well-documented. Why Waterfall Falls Down To understand agile’s advantages, it helps to first understand the traditional method for developing software, often called “waterfall.” Waterfall projects generally begin with a bevy of requirements documents, amassed over several weeks or even months: functional requirements, technical requirements, marketing requirements, product requirements—the list goes on. Meanwhile, changes in the market inevitably cause customer needs to change as well. Worse, when a waterfall project falls behind schedule, that squeezes the final two phases, quality assurance and customer testing. The Agile Advantage But lest we despair, agile software development provides a proven alternative. It’s All About the Culture

10 principes fondamentaux – Société – Google Nous avons rédigé cette liste quelques années après la création de Google. Nous la mettons régulièrement à jour afin qu'elle soit toujours d'actualité, et espérons que vous la trouverez pertinente. Recherchez l'intérêt de l'utilisateur ; le reste suivra. There’s only a few ways to scale user growth, and here’s the list Scaling growth is hard – there’s only a few ways to do itWhen you study the most successful mobile/web products, you start to see a pattern on how they grow. Turns out, there’s not too many ways to reach 100s of millions of users or revenue. Instead, products mostly have one or two major growth channels, which they optimize into perfection. These methods are commonplace and predictable. Here are the major channels that successful products use to drive traction – think of them as the moonshots. Paid acquisition. These channels work and scale, because of two reasons: They’re feedback loops. It might seem like it’s best to crack one of these channels right away, and then ride then into glory. New products often only have months, or a year, to live, so these strategies are often not a real option. High-risk, high-reward Attacking one of these scalable channels is high risk but also high reward. This essay by Paul Graham gives us a clue, as he writes about Startups = Growth: Good luck.

How to Use a Single Metric to Run Your Startup Collecting data is easy. There are lots of tools out there and ways to gather data about everything that’s happening with your business, from lead generation through to customer satisfaction. But what are we supposed to do with all that data? How does it help us focus on the key challenges at hand, provide us insights into our next steps, and drive success? The data you collect may be helpful at some point; but if you can’t cut out the noise, you’ll get buried. The One Metric That Matters (or OMTM) is a single number that you care the most about at the current stage of your startup. Four Reasons You Need the OMTM for Your Startup As I’ve said, the OMTM is a single metric that you care about at a given point in time, for the stage of your startup. 1. At any given time you’ll be trying to answer a hundred different questions and juggling a million different things. 2. After you’ve identified the key problem you want to focus on, you need to set goals. 3. Focus is good. 4. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1.

The Agony and Ecstasy of Building with Data — The Year of the Looking Glass Ah, Data. And of course, Data’s best friend, A/B Test. They’re like the the It couple of many a young software company these days. The hype is quite warranted. Alas, as with most things in life these two can dangerously overused. Don’t end up in rehab. Data Pitfall #1: Picking the wrong metric to optimize for. It’s nice to have a metric that everyone can rally behind. The problem is that it’s impossible to distill value into one metric. Pretty much everyone understands this at a theoretical level. Data Pitfall #2: Over-pivoting towards what’s measurable. Okay, let’s say you didn’t pick the wrong metric. But of course it’s important. Data Pitfall #3: Biasing towards the short-term. Let’s pretend for a second that you’ve picked the right set of metrics AND you’ve somehow managed to wire a sensor to people’s brains that gives you accurate readings on how they feel right then.

Understanding SaaS: Why the Pundits Have It Wrong Tune into any cable network stock market channel and the airwaves resonate with one consistent theme: SaaS companies are simply too expensive. In fact, we might even be in a bubble! The argument goes as follows — high revenue growth coupled with lack of profits means these businesses are fundamentally broken. Just as we saw in 1999-2000, investors’ willingness to pay for growth at any cost will end and many SaaS companies will be left behind. image: Andreessen Horowitz But that line of reasoning conflates the lessons of the 1999-2000 tech bubble. So why do the pundits have it all wrong? When it comes to SaaS, however, such simplicity can lead to bad investment decisions. The key difference between traditional software and software as a service: Growth hurts (but only at first) In the traditional software world, companies like Oracle and SAP do most of their business by selling a “perpetual” license to their software and then later selling upgrades. Here’s an example

Principles behind the Agile Manifesto We follow these principles: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. Build projects around motivated individuals. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation. Working software is the primary measure of progress. Agile processes promote sustainable development. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.

The Specification is Dead; Long Live the Specification In the olden days, most people followed a waterfall method. It involved writing “complete” specifications on exactly what had to be built, how it would be built, how it would work, look, etc. You’d have the “complete” package of documentation up-front and then you’d start coding. Seems like eons ago… Then we were introduced to agile development, which encouraged us to throw away big specifications and go with user stories, or to eliminate documentation entirely and just start coding, building things iteratively. I’m greatly simplifying the evolution of software development into a couple paragraphs, but you know the drill — specifications went from being necessities to being outlawed. I’d say the same holds true for specifications. I like to write. My specifications often include descriptions of things we may (or will likely) build in the future. I don’t see specifications as ultra-descriptive product roadmaps. Specifications aren’t writ in stone.

7 Tips on How to Build a Successful SaaS Business With the global Software-as-a-Service revenue projected to hit $16 billion this year, and then $22 billion by 2015, it’s tempting to jump in and develop your own SaaS business. So we’ve collated tips from proven SaaS entrepreneurs to try and provide some basic pointers of how to succeed. Our company Time Doctor is also a SaaS business and we’re fascinated by the industry and by examples of successful SaaS business. Jon Miller, VP of Marketing and co-founder of Marketo says… “Maintain a Healthy Balance” At a startup you must do a lot at once. For example, start off the day listening, reading, and engaging in relevant conversations around the topics that your product or service addresses. And finally, carve out some time to focus on building and improving upon your product. Peter Reinhardt, Co-founder of “Customer support is the difference between success and failure in SaaS products” At the very beginning, your SaaS product will necessarily be incomplete, buggy and hard to use.

8 Essential Online Tools For Getting More Work Done When I joined Buffer, one of the things I was most excited about was seeing how we can get a lot done with a distributed team. I knew that Buffer was specifically set up to work this way and I was curious about seeing that play out. It turns out, this is possible mostly because of the great tools we use. Here are some of the products and services we use every day to help us stay connected and get things done. Trello: organizing the flow of work Trello is a productivity tool that uses cards and lists to keep you organized. Trello is a great way to visually manage your workflow, and collaborate with others to keep track of what’s getting done. We use Trello to manage the workflow in almost every area --for example, we have Trello boards for our engineering team and our support team. For the Buffer blog, we use a Trello board to keep track of our ideas and the posts we’re working on. Buffer: sharing content on social media Sqwiggle: face-to-face contact HipChat: keeping in touch with the team

IAC's HowAboutWe co-founder: How to Avoid Delusional Thinking in Start-up Growth Strategy (Guest Post) at [Andrew: Trying to build and launch dating apps is a favorite pastime of 20-something tech entrepreneurs. However, dating products are notoriously hard to grow because it requires people to be “in-market” and also they don’t necessarily want their friends to know they’re online dating. Today, we have a great piece from a veteran of the space. Earlier this year, IAC bought HowAboutWe, a new dating product that was trying to reinvent the entire experience so that it’d focus on activities rather than dating profiles. The cofounder, Aaron Schildkrout, contributed the following essay below, enumerating the difficulties of the various growth channels, and also more generally, how to be realistic about your growth strategy. You can follow Aaron at @schildkrout on Twitter.] Aaron Schildkrout:How to Avoid Delusional Thinking in Start-up Growth Strategy So, you have a consumer internet idea you think could be big. The statistics say you’re are almost surely wrong. Magical Thinking SEO: Yeah right.

(43) Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): What is a good price strategy for infrequently used SaaS products Strategy Maps: A Primer Constructing a strategy map, as we’ve said, produces many benefits: senior team alignment, clarification of the strategy, ease of communication to employees, and can help generate enthusiasm by employees for the strategy. But in reality, creating a strategy map is just the beginning of the work required for strategy execution. In our book, Leading Strategy Execution, we devote two chapters to what leaders need to do once the strategy map is complete. Chapter Six, “Aligning Local Effort (Job Three),” acknowledges that strategies get carried out in work units, not at the top of the organization, and guide the reader in thinking through how the top can align itself with the middle-level. Chapter Seven, “Designing Your Organization (Job Four),” addresses, “the art and science of fitting the institutional components of the firm—its structure, business processes, and its entire social system—to the strategy.” We view strategy execution as a three step process: Step 1 Create the strategy map