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Aardvark case study from #sllconf by Max Ventilla and Damon Horowitz
 

Aardvark case study from #sllconf by Max Ventilla and Damon Horowitz

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    Aardvark case study from #sllconf by Max Ventilla and Damon Horowitz Aardvark case study from #sllconf by Max Ventilla and Damon Horowitz Presentation Transcript

    • April 2010
      Damon Horowitz
      dhoro@google.com
      Max Ventilla
      mventilla@google.com, @ventilla
    • Our Product
    • Web Search is great for objective questions, but subjective questions generate the majority of search revenues
      Queries
      X00B/yr
      Search quality
      Examples
      RPMs
       What is Einstein’s birthday?
      ~45%
      Objective
      Great
       Low
       How much is the cheapest iPhone?
      What’s a decent housekeeping service in SF? How much should it cost for a small two bedroom place?
      ~30%
      Research
      What’s a good book to read about Romantic Poets?
      ~25%
      Opinion
       High
      Ok
    • Friends can answer subjective questions but…
      Unreliable -- small number of friends available to you in the moment
      Hard to keep up with what your extended network knows about
      Social cost of asking for a favor
    • Aardvark is a new type of social search
    • Why social search?
      • Users want personalized responses to questions
      • Most content is still locked in peoples' heads
      • Each individual’s network is growing exponentially
      • Social intimacy makes information actionable 
      • Questions about how to spend your time and money are subjective and highly lucrative
    • Our Principles
    • Startups take a while…
    • …and they generally fail
      “In a startup, the chance of anything good is always under 50%”
      -Mike Cassidy (Ruba) .
    • Minimize Risk
      Maximize Trials
      Be Patient
    • Our Timeline
    • Conception0.5 Years
      Picked a problem
      Prototyped in serial
      Abandoned
    • Rekkit - A service to collect your ratings from across the web and give better recommendations to you.
      Ninjapa - A way that you could open accounts in various applications through a single website and manage your data across multiple sites.
      The Webb - A central number that you could call and talk to a person who could do anything for you that you could do online.
      Web Macros - A way to record sequences of steps on websites so that you could repeat common actions, even across sites, and share "recipes" for how you accomplished online tasks.
      Internet Button Company - A way to package steps taken on a website and smart form-fill functionality. People could encode buttons and share buttons a la social bookmarking.
    • Implementation1 Year
      Raised seed financing
      Wizard of Oz testing
      Recruited core team
    • Full Human Judgment
      Constrained Actions
      Automation
      Rote Tasks
      Action with Approval
      Prediction
      Logging
      February 2009
      June 2009
      August 2009
      September 2009
    • Refinement1 Year
      Raised series A
      Extensive refinement
      Tripled team
    • The goal is eventual
      product / market fit
      Focus on acceleration
    • Our Process
    • Maximize the quantity and impact of trials
      Process is king
    • Process: Assume that you are wrong
      Make continuous improvement the goal
      Experiment with process as much as product
      Hire and indoctrinate to support process
    • Learning: exploit collective wisdom
      Task people to collect and disseminate learning
      Set aside regular time for discussion
      Make transparency the default
    • Thank You
      White paper on Aardvark Social Search (vark.com/aardvarkfinalwww2010.pdf)
      How we do qualitative user research at Aardvark (http://blog.vark.com/?p=314)
      Our approach to design and development processes (http://blog.vark.com/?p=49)
      Preaching User-Driven Design (http://ventilla.posterous.com/preaching-user-driven-design)