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.