Experiments failing left and right Dropbox Startup Lessons Learned

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Experiments failing left and right Problem: Most obvious keywords bidded way up Probably by other venture-backed startups Problem: Long tail had little volume Problem: Hiding free option was shady, confusing, buggy Affiliate program, display ads, etc sucked too Economics totally broken

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  • Dropbox referrals get 18GB $5.99.lifetime space "http://dropboxreferral.space"
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  • The referral program that it introduces is so smart! No wonder now we could see it almost everywhere.
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  • Found this through the book "Growth Hack Marketing". Didn't know Dropbox has gone through that much before the Dropbox that know now.
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  • upgrade your dropbox account by going to http://bit.ly/dropbox-upgrade
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  • I'm so glad to see this slides.
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  • Unusual aspects
  • A few examples/stories
  • As a founder lots of questions
  • Back in 2006 the cloud storage market was insane
  • Investor meetings had an interesting pattern
  • (as I spent the bulk of my 20s discovering) This is not your typical rails app that you can bang out in a weekend.
  • One thing I ran into over and over again was products that half worked. I promise you, if they did, I wouldn’t be here, I would be using that instead. But these were the guys who launched early. And now most of them are dead, not because of Dropbox but largely by self inflicted wounds.
  • So, launching early and joining the pigpile of halfassed storage products was not terribly appealing
  • So shipping code was out of the question YC app – ship in 8 wks vs 18 mos Prototype worked; video could show product in best light; get much of the same feedback as if we shipped working code
  • YC’s motto
  • As engineers
  • We ran a bunch of experiments; adwords example -- everybody else is doing it
  • - SEM is an example, but others – guilt to do what everyone else is doing -- to hire a product person, or a VP of whatever, or make an analytics dashboard, or a PR firm, etc. Often these are great things to do but that’s not a license to blindly do them
  • To do something well in general you’ll be doing something else poorly
  • ×