5 stages of xobni's growth and 5 pivots along the way

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This is a presentation I've given at Steve Blank's Berkeley MBA class as well as the Lean Startup session at web 2.0 expo 2010

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  • Thank you for sharing the very insightful experience. As I'm going through the creation of an internet business, this story is really helping me put a lot of things in place: focus and simplicity and what really matters to the user, but also flexibility to change or adjust course when needed.
    The story is meaningful even more for me because I was one of the early adopters of Xobni 2 years ago, as I saw referral from one of the early employee in his blog, and then became a Xobni Plus user down the road. I don't use it anymore as now I'm on Mac after leaving my corporate job 3 months ago, but the experience was great.
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  • Completo, muy bueno, muchas gracias.
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  • Love it, and learned a lot! thanks for sharing it. Sharel
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  • Process to discovering a business model.
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  • 5 stages of xobni's growth and 5 pivots along the way

    1. The 5 stages of Xobni’s growth & 5 pivots along the way Matt Brezina Co-founder, Xobni Twitter: @brezina mattbrezina.com/blog
    2. The Big Idea 2
    3. The Big Idea Google organized the world’s public data 2
    4. The Big Idea Google organized the world’s public data 2
    5. The Big Idea Google organized the world’s public data But, personal data is different 2
    6. The Big Idea Google organized the world’s public data But, personal data is different + There is no Google of personal information 2
    7. The Big Idea Google organized the world’s public data But, personal data is different + There is no Google of personal information + 10x more personal data in the world than public info 2
    8. The Big Idea Google organized the world’s public data But, personal data is different + There is no Google of personal information + 10x more personal data in the world than public info + Most personal data is trapped in email 2
    9. The Big Idea Google organized the world’s public data But, personal data is different + There is no Google of personal information + 10x more personal data in the world than public info + Most personal data is trapped in email = Foundation for Xobni 2
    10. The Situation 3
    11. The Situation • 22 & 25 years old • Never had a “real job” • $12k in the bank 3
    12. The Result 4
    13. The Result • A lean startup was our only option 4
    14. The Result • A lean startup was our only option • We had a lot to learn about email 4
    15. 5 stages of Xobni Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    16. 1. Stealth 1.5 years 50 users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    17. 1. Stealth • Knew the vision, but not the product • Lots of pivots in early years • Pivot 1: Choosing Outlook • Pivot 2: Analytics to sidebar • Pivot 3: Raise $4M & hire 6 employees 1.5 years 50 users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    18. Pivot 1: Outlook 7
    19. Pivot 1: Outlook • We wanted to build our own email client 7
    20. Pivot 1: Outlook • We wanted to build our own email client • However, surveys & research showed Outlook was biggest among people with $ 7
    21. Pivot 1: Outlook • We wanted to build our own email client • However, surveys & research showed Outlook was biggest among people with $ • Our own email client would take huge marketing budget to get people to try 7
    22. Pivot 1: Outlook • We wanted to build our own email client • However, surveys & research showed Outlook was biggest among people with $ • Our own email client would take huge marketing budget to get people to try • Lower user adoption risk on Outlook 7
    23. Xobni Analytics 8
    24. Xobni Analytics 8
    25. Xobni Analytics Analytics was our 6 week project to understand email better and establish thought leadership. 8
    26. Xobni Analytics Analytics was our 6 week project to understand email better and establish thought leadership. 8
    27. Xobni Analytics Analytics was our 6 week project to understand email better and establish thought leadership. That took over 4 months to build 8
    28. Xobni Analytics Analytics was our 6 week project to understand email better and establish thought leadership. That took over 4 months to build 8
    29. Xobni Analytics Analytics was our 6 week project to understand email better and establish thought leadership. That took over 4 months to build And wasn’t a product people would use on a daily basis 8
    30. Xobni Analytics Analytics was our 6 week project to understand email better and establish thought leadership. That took over 4 months to build And wasn’t a product people would use on a daily basis 8
    31. Xobni Analytics Analytics was our 6 week project to understand email better and establish thought leadership. That took over 4 months to build And wasn’t a product people would use on a daily basis But gave us the understanding for our next pivot 8
    32. Email is about people 9
    33. And no email clients cared about people 10
    34. We decided to make email about people 11
    35. Pivot 2: Moved from analytics to sidebar 12
    36. Pivot 2: Moved from analytics to sidebar 12
    37. Pivot 2: Moved from analytics to sidebar How we came to this realization 12
    38. Pivot 2: Moved from analytics to sidebar How we came to this realization • Selling Xobni Analytics to investors; best pitch was what we could tell them about people 12
    39. Pivot 2: Moved from analytics to sidebar How we came to this realization • Selling Xobni Analytics to investors; best pitch was what we could tell them about people •Dog fooding on our own email 12
    40. Pivot 3: Raise VC to hire 13
    41. Pivot 3: Raise VC to hire • Building product for enterprise users was more work than we thought 13
    42. Pivot 3: Raise VC to hire • Building product for enterprise users was more work than we thought • Couldn’t hire with $80k in bank 13
    43. Pivot 3: Raise VC to hire • Building product for enterprise users was more work than we thought • Couldn’t hire with $80k in bank • Potential employees got away 13
    44. Pivot 3: Raise VC to hire • Building product for enterprise users was more work than we thought • Couldn’t hire with $80k in bank • Potential employees got away • Raised $4M and hired 6 people 13
    45. 2. Private Beta 1.5 9 years months 50 60k users users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    46. 2. Private Beta • Worked towards product/market fit • Heavy focus on performance • Most surveying, user studies, starbucks testing in company history • Cut 1/2 of features • Pivot 4: People profiles 1.5 9 years months 50 60k users users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    47. Pivot 4: Do one thing, and do it right: People profiles 15
    48. 3. Public Beta 1.5 9 1 year years months 2M 50 60k users users users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    49. 3. Public Beta • Business will be dual prong: direct to consumer & enterprise • Raise $10M from Cisco & BlackBerry • Pivot 5 - Search not relationships for 1st premium 1.5 9 1 year years months 2M 50 60k users users users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    50. Pivot 5: Search not relationships for 1st premium 17
    51. Pivot 5: Search not relationships for 1st premium • Xobni stands on two pillars: search & relationship management 17
    52. Pivot 5: Search not relationships for 1st premium • Xobni stands on two pillars: search & relationship management • Planned on monetizing relationship features first 17
    53. Pivot 5: Search not relationships for 1st premium • Xobni stands on two pillars: search & relationship management • Planned on monetizing relationship features first • However, one engineer convinced me to sell a search product first – something we needed to build anyway – low market risk – low execution risk for team 17
    54. Pivot 5: Search not relationships for 1st premium • Xobni stands on two pillars: search & relationship management • Planned on monetizing relationship features first • However, one engineer convinced me to sell a search product first – something we needed to build anyway – low market risk – low execution risk for team • The birth of Xobni Plus 17
    55. 4. GA & Biz model 1.5 9 1 year 6 years months months 2M 50 60k users users users 3M users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    56. 4. GA & Biz model • Came out of beta - enterprise adoption • Needed business model to fund paid growth • Rev line 1: Xobni Plus • Rev line 2: Xobni Enterprise • Rev line 3: Xobni BlackBerry • Rev line 4: Xobni One 1.5 9 1 year 6 years months months 2M 50 60k users users users 3M users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    57. Xobni Free for Outlook
    58. Xobni Free for Outlook
    59. Free Premium Xobni Free for Outlook
    60. Free Premium Xobni Plus Xobni Free $29.95 for Outlook
    61. Free Premium Xobni Plus Xobni Free $29.95 for Outlook Xobni Enterprise $36/user/yr
    62. Free Premium Xobni Blackberry $9.99 Xobni Plus Xobni Free $29.95 for Outlook Xobni Enterprise $36/user/yr
    63. Free Premium Xobni Blackberry $9.99 Xobni One $3.99/mo Xobni Plus Xobni Free $29.95 for Outlook Xobni Enterprise $36/user/yr
    64. Free Premium Xobni Blackberry $9.99 Xobni One $3.99/mo New mobile & email Xobni platforms Plus Xobni Free $29.95 for Outlook Xobni Enterprise $36/user/yr
    65. 5. Growth 1.5 9 1 year 6 years months months 2M 6 50 50 users months users users 3M 5M users users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    66. 5. Growth • Taking Xobni experience to new mobile & email platforms 1.5 9 1 year 6 years months months 2M 6 50 50 users months users users 3M 5M users users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    67. 5. Growth • Taking Xobni experience to new mobile & email platforms • Aggressively acquiring new Outlook users 1.5 9 1 year 6 years months months 2M 6 50 50 users months users users 3M 5M users users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    68. 5. Growth • Taking Xobni experience to new mobile & email platforms • Aggressively acquiring new Outlook users • Sales team adding new enterprise accounts 1.5 9 1 year 6 years months months 2M 6 50 50 users months users users 3M 5M users users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    69. 5. Growth • Taking Xobni experience to new mobile & email platforms • Aggressively acquiring new Outlook users • Sales team adding new enterprise accounts • Building new products to monetize Outlook, mobile & web users 1.5 9 1 year 6 years months months 2M 6 50 50 users months users users 3M 5M users users Private Public GA & Biz Stealth Growth Beta Beta model
    70. The 5 stages of Xobni’s growth & 5 pivots along the way Matt Brezina Co-founder, Xobni Twitter: @brezina mattbrezina.com/blog

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