How to (not) antagonize your customers in a Lean Startup world

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In a world of lean startup, with constant iteration and product change, how do you not piss off your users

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How to (not) antagonize your customers in a Lean Startup world

  1. 1. Ryan Hops HOW TO (NOT)ANTAGONIZE YOUR CUSTOMERS IN A LEAN STARTUP WORLD Loyalty World March 2013
  2. 2. MY GOAL I WANT TO LEAVE YOU WITH: How to succeed in the digital era, in theworld of lean startup, and not piss off your customers.
  3. 3. ME:✓ 20 something entrepreneur✓ Product guy✓ From Chinese HedgeFund to fintech entrepreneur✓ UWO - Bachelor of Finance
  4. 4. WALL STREET SURVIVORSOME NUMBERS: 3M+ pageviews/month, 500k+ usersJOINT VENTURES: With huge financial portals like AOL and the Motley Fool OUR TECH: Our tech powers 80% of the top business schools in the US
  5. 5. THE EVOLUTION OF WSS Like many consumer internet startups, WSS is the poster-child for being a pivot machine.
  6. 6. IDEA #1Let’s create a gambling website (2007-2008)
  7. 7. LEARNING #1Gambling was a little too grey.
  8. 8. IDEA #2Yahoo Fantasy sports for stock market (2008-2012)
  9. 9. LEARNING #2Managing a sports team is a more fun than managing a stock portfolio.
  10. 10. 3RD TIME’S A CHARM Financial Education
  11. 11. LEARNING #3Huge opportunity to integrate onto 3rd party sites.
  12. 12. THE 6 STEPSWE TOOK TO NOT PISS OFF OUR 500 000 USERS (AND NOT LOSE OUR $1,000,000 INVESTMENT)
  13. 13. #1 - WARNING✓ Give people warnings...✓ Like lots of warnings...✓ Like early, often and everywhere...
  14. 14. SOCIAL MEDIA
  15. 15. BLOG
  16. 16. ON-SITE MESSAGING
  17. 17. EMAIL
  18. 18. TIP:✓ Don’t worry about your competitors.✓ Stealth is VERY overrated.
  19. 19. #2 - FIND YOUR CORE ✓ Who are your power users/customers? And how can you reach them?
  20. 20. Reach out and make it personal.
  21. 21. WALL STREET SURVIVOR’S TWO BIGGEST FANSThe Johnson brothers from West Monroe, Louisiana
  22. 22. TIP: The more you connect with your power users:✓ the more passionate they will become about your company✓ the more you will learn about your all users
  23. 23. #3 - SHOW MOCKUPS✓ Get feedback early. Show to your future customer base as well as existing.
  24. 24. FIRST MOCK LAST MOCK
  25. 25. TIP:✓ Show, Show and show some more. The more you show, the less drastic your launch will be.
  26. 26. #4 - BRING THEM INTO THE PROCESS✓ Create an invite-only beta version✓ Behavioral vs attitudinal data
  27. 27. Install Feedback-gathering tools QUALROOGETSATISFACTION CROWDSCIENCE
  28. 28. TIP:✓ If you are proud about your beta, you’re doing it all wrong.
  29. 29. #5 - GIVE THEM OPTIONS✓ People hate when change is forced on them
  30. 30. 2,794,000
  31. 31. 2,794,000 That’s how many people still use AOL dial-up! Bottom line: Some people WILL not change.If it’s still profitable to do so, give them options.
  32. 32. Legacy.WallStreetSurvivor.com is still available.
  33. 33. TIP:✓ Make them feel like the old site is a rusty old car.
  34. 34. #6 - SOME CUSTOMERS ARE WRONG✓ Don’t listen to your customers too much✓ Customers (sometimes the best customers) are biased
  35. 35. TIP:✓ If companies only cared about what their customers wanted, there would be no iPhone.
  36. 36. BONUS: CASE STUDY DIGG V4
  37. 37. DIGG V3✓ Digg was founded in 2004 by Kevin Rose (picture on the right)✓ In 2008, Google offered to buy it for 200m.✓ By 2010 it was one of the ten biggest sites on the internet
  38. 38. DIGG V4✓ In 2010, Digg relaunched the site with a brand new design and a totally revamped functionality✓ In one month after their launch traffic dropped 34%✓ The never really looked back. In 2012 they sold to Betaworks for $500,000.
  39. 39. FATAL MISTAKE #1✓ They didn’t involve their power users.✓ Digg was a community that thrived on it’s power users (less than 100 people).✓ When the site launched, they were as shocked as everybody.
  40. 40. WHAT HAPPENED?They headed over to Reddit to complain and stayed there.
  41. 41. TODAYReddit.com is one of the most popular websites around Image source: newsone.com
  42. 42. FATAL MISTAKE #2✓ They implemented features that none of their users wanted✓ They built features like My News that no one wanted
  43. 43. TAKE-AWAY:✓ Test, test, test.
  44. 44. FATAL MISTAKE #3✓ Too much change - too quickly!✓ No communication✓ No roll-out of features
  45. 45. COMPARISON: FACEBOOKFacebook has had as many unpopularchanges as any startup but they roll-out theirfeatures slowly - not all at once! 2006 - mini feeds 2008 - the Wall 2009 - Fan pages and the Like button 2010 - the Wall is gone... the Newsfeed is here! 2011 - Ticker and Timeline
  46. 46. Ryan HopsTHANK YOU! Q&A TIME!Linkedin.com/in/ryanhops @ryanhops

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