Friday, July 24, 2015

Notes on "Growth" from Facebook's growth architect

I just watched Chamath Palihapitiya's talk on how to think about growth. He was Facebook's growth lead when they went from 50 million to a billion users.

"Growth Hacking" & "virality" have become annoying buzzwords now, and I like how he slices through the bullshit and clarifies the simple basic principles of growth.

My notes:
Forget "virality" - first get product market fit. Focus on:
  1. How do you acquire users?
  2. How do you get them to their first aha moment ASAP?
  3. How do you keep delivering core product value (which leads to user engagement)?

Once you've answered these, i.e. you have product market fit + user retention, only then, think about “virality” – how will users invite other users.

Simple steps:

  1. Measure: Instrument your product, and see how user's use it
  2. Test: Try out different ideas.
  3. Learn. Refine. Repeat.

Figure out the activation “Aha” moment for users:
For FB, they figured out that they if they got a new user to 7 friends in 10 days, that user became engaged & retained.
How do you figure it out for your product?
Quantitatively: analyze the patterns of usage of engaged users, and refine the analysis/cohort.
Qualitatively: What is the thing that users are looking for? How do I get it to them ASAP?

Also - gut feeling without data is useless/negative. Don't believe your own bullshit - always be cynical, test your assumptions & validate with data.
Focus on long term strategic goals, not random short term metrics.

How can I apply this?
For Windows 10 Upgrade Satisfaction:
We need to think more clearly about how we can speed up the "aha" moment for Windows 10? What is this AHA moment for Windows 10?

For StepUp:
We need to figure out the user aha moment - 
Self tracking: Tracking your own steps is inherently addictive - so that helps. And the clean & simple UI seems to be a big winner.
With Friends? Some possible hypotheses:
  1. When you have a conversation with a friend based on something you saw on the StepUp leaderboard?
  2. When you actively compete - walk more just to beat your friend?

I need to do some user interviews to find this out qualitatively.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A blog post a day, keeps the cobwebs away...

I'm so inspired by Rohan Rajiv's daily blog.

I've been thinking about getting back into the blogging habit, because writing really is the best way to clarify your thinking/learning/ideas.

I feel like there is soooo much advice & so many different perspectives on just about everything out there, all of which are probably valid in different situations. This makes it easy to go in circles always re-evaluating my priorities/principles/beliefs. Or maybe I just hold my beliefs too loosely, always ready to re-evaluate them.

I'm hoping to clarify and crystallize my priorities/goals/principles/approach to the big important things in life by writing about them here.

So I'm going to start blogging again, with baby steps, and without sharing or telling anyone about it yet.

Personal update:
I moved to the Microsoft Headquarters in Seattle in Feb 2015, and joined the Operating Systems Group Design Studio as a Design PM. It's been lots of fun so far! :)
And, I'm working on an exciting side project - a mobile app that I hope to release soon.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

WITnessed: Raindrops Keep Falling...

While hanging out near KBR Park in awesome cloudy weather...

Sneha: I think it's drizzling.
Vidyuth: No it's not.
Sneha: Yes it is - I just felt a few drops!
Vidyuth: It's probably your old bladder control issue.

Vidyuth was smugly snickering at his jab, but Sneha took only a second to recover and bounce back...

Sneha: It's actually you - you really need to stop spitting while speaking.
Vidyuth: What rubbish!
Sneha: Seriously Vidyuth - say it, don't spray it!

It was actually drizzling, very slightly, but that didn't stop Sneha from taking another jab -

Sneha: I asked for the news Vidyuth, not the weather!

All in good humor of course. :)

Quick Links :
Erm... What exactly is "WITnessed"?
The full WITnessed series...

Friday, October 12, 2012

WITnessed: Honeymoon Trials

While planning their honeymoon to Thailand:

Wife: I can't wait to get to Phuket - I'll sit on the beach and sip mojitos all day!
Husband: If you're going to be sipping all day, they'd better be virgin mojitos...
Wife: If you make me have virgin mojitos, I'll make sure you have a virgin honeymoon!

Quick Links :
Erm... What exactly is "WITnessed"?
The full WITnessed series...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

WellSaid : Tatoo Temple...

This was back in Johannesburg. We were talking about tattoos and I was wondering why someone would go through all that pain to get one, especially some of the big intricate tattoos!

John, a tattoo lover on the table replies:

You're body is a temple... fuckin decorate it! : )
You could see the passion in his eye. I was like "Wow!" What a line! Can't argue with that!: )

Quick Links :
What is this "WellSaid" series?
The full WellSaid series...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

WellSaid: Magic

Harika was going to watch the final Harry Potter movie for the second time, so I asked her why she wasn't watching any other movie instead (ZNMD, Delhi Belly etc). Harika replies

'Cos I want some magic in my life!
You can't argue with that! : )

Quick Links :
What is this "WellSaid" series?
The full WellSaid series...

The WellSaid Series

I was looking back at the WITnessed series today, and there were so many posts that I had totally forgotten about! I totally enjoyed reading them again, and remembering the good times...

But there are lots of memorable lines that don't really qualify as WITnessed, because they're not funny/witty/silly. So I'm starting the "WellSaid" series to share and remember the awesome spontaneous profound/cool/downright idiotic lines that come up in everyday life! : )