Launching Mixer: What Worked, What didn't

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Chris Connell, CEO of Mixer talks about lessons learned from launching the app.

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Launching Mixer: What Worked, What didn't

  1. 1. Launching Mixer: What worked, and what didn’tWednesday, 9 January 13
  2. 2. Introduction We wanted to build a service that would help us better connect with the people around us.Wednesday, 9 January 13
  3. 3. Wednesday, 9 January 13
  4. 4. Theoretical Foundations • Recognizing the important concept of shared identity in communities • Providing opportunities for individuals to interact with one another around a common theme: location • Understanding communities require a dynamic where each person is able to communicate with all others in the group (George Homans; 1950)Wednesday, 9 January 13
  5. 5. LaunchingWednesday, 9 January 13
  6. 6. Approaching the press • Focus on an influencer • Meet them whilst out networking and have a conversation • Pre-brief them by giving a heads up • Negotiate • We’ll launch when you’re ready • Get to the point • Have a story • Send images in web ready format • Details about competitorsWednesday, 9 January 13
  7. 7. Marketing is really important • People often wrongly assume apps will market themselves. • Other apps we’ve built have done well with no marketing, we assumed Mixer would be the same. • TechCrunch got us 500 installs on the first day but not core users who didn’t stick around. • Marketing strategy is as important as the app itself!Wednesday, 9 January 13
  8. 8. Post-launchWednesday, 9 January 13
  9. 9. Monitor everything • Growth and user acquisition most important. • Identify why some users stick around and why others don’t. • App Store analytics and rankings. • Listen to feedback. • Be prepared to iterate.Wednesday, 9 January 13
  10. 10. App Store challenges • Know what matters (App name, Developer Name, Keywords, Title of in-app purchases) • Get in top 100 = organic downloads • Easier to rank in some categories over others. • Pick the right keywords. • Localize app store listing.Wednesday, 9 January 13
  11. 11. What did we learn? • Focus on the things your app does differently to others • Narrative is important • Needed a new way to distribute • Profiles were weak • Need for niche focus • Needed to encourage more engagementWednesday, 9 January 13
  12. 12. You can always build on an MVP • Focus on one key feature • Well built • Well designed • Don’t build ‘nice to have’ features until users demand them • Must be compellingWednesday, 9 January 13
  13. 13. TechnicalWednesday, 9 January 13
  14. 14. What did Mixer need? ?Wednesday, 9 January 13
  15. 15. What did Mixer need? ?Wednesday, 9 January 13
  16. 16. What did Mixer need? ?Wednesday, 9 January 13
  17. 17. [PFFacebookUtils logInWithPermissions:permissions block:^(PFUser *user, NSError *error) {     if (!user) {         NSLog(@"Uh oh. The user cancelled the Facebook login.");     } else if (user.isNew) {         NSLog(@"User just signed up through Facebook!");     } else {         NSLog(@"User logged in through Facebook!");     } }];Wednesday, 9 January 13
  18. 18. Use the rights tools • We used Parse (Parse.com) as our backend to increase simplicity and decrease development time. (it’s practically free!)Wednesday, 9 January 13
  19. 19. Use the rights tools • Problem: we needed to identify mutual Facebook friends and interests (Likes). Mutual Friends (Graph): https://graph.facebook.com/me/mutualfriends/?user=USER_ID Mutual Interests (FQL): SELECT page_id, name, pic_big FROM page WHERE page_id IN (SELECT page_id FROM page_fan WHERE uid = USER_ID)Wednesday, 9 January 13
  20. 20. RTFM (or “read the docs”) • Problem: we needed users to spread the word about Mixer; share out your Mixer posts to Facebook and Twitter. • We already had a easy way for Facebook access (and fetching Twitter credentials is easy enough since iOS 5). • For Facebook, Open Graph was perfect, but read carefully to really see what Facebook’s API can offer.Wednesday, 9 January 13
  21. 21. RTFM (or “read the docs”)Wednesday, 9 January 13
  22. 22. Keep up to date • Mixer development started before iOS 6 and before Facebook iOS SDK 3. • Over 40 Parse SDK updates since 1st July 2012. • Keeping up to date is key - permissions and sessions changed dramatically in v3 (and then again in v3.1) which we could have planned for.Wednesday, 9 January 13
  23. 23. Consider your edge cases early on • We found large milestones easy to accomplish. • But we did not account for our edge cases. • What if users invalidate sessions? • What if users change their profile picture? • Consider solving these problems early on.Wednesday, 9 January 13
  24. 24. Mixer getmixer.com @connellchris chrisconnell.me @rossbealeWednesday, 9 January 13

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