Nathan Stoll
nathanstoll@gmail.com
nstoll@google.com
@nathanstoll
Our Product
Web search is great for objective questions, but subjective
questions generate majority of revenues
  Queries     Search q...
The Aardvark pitch
Improving a familiar experience
Friends already answer subjective questions, but...
 •  Unreliability of a small number of...
Our Principles and Process
Minimize risk by maximizing trials
Conception:
•  Picked a problem area
•  Prototyped in serial
•  Abandoned many attempts...
Early experimental Aardvark
User-centered agile engineering
Wizard-of-oz research leading algorithmic automation
Team and process learnings
Experiment with process as much as with product
•  Assume you are wrong
•  Make continuous impr...
Additional Aardvark reading/viewing
•  White paper on Aardvark Social Search - (
   http://vark.com/aardvarkfinalwww2010.p...
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Users and Algorithms: Incorporating User Centered Design and Advanced Algorithms into Agile Engineering - Atlassian Starter Day 2010

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Users and Algorithms: Incorporating User Centered Design and Advanced Algorithms into Agile Engineering

Nathan Stoll, Co-Founder of Aardvark

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Users and Algorithms: Incorporating User Centered Design and Advanced Algorithms into Agile Engineering - Atlassian Starter Day 2010

  1. 1. Nathan Stoll nathanstoll@gmail.com nstoll@google.com @nathanstoll
  2. 2. Our Product
  3. 3. Web search is great for objective questions, but subjective questions generate majority of revenues Queries Search quality X00B/yr RPMs Examples •  What is Einstein’s birthday? 45% Great Low Objective •  How much is the cheapest iPhone? •  What’s a decent housekeeping service in 30% SF? How much should it cost for a small Research two bedroom place? •  What’s a good book to read about 25% Ok High Romantic Poets? Opinion
  4. 4. The Aardvark pitch
  5. 5. Improving a familiar experience Friends already answer subjective questions, but... •  Unreliability of a 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 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
  6. 6. Our Principles and Process
  7. 7. Minimize risk by maximizing trials Conception: •  Picked a problem area •  Prototyped in serial •  Abandoned many attempts along the way Implementation: •  User-centered agile engineering •  Wizard-of-oz research leading algorithmic automation •  Recruited a core team, contracted to fill gaps •  Focused on continuous acceleration
  8. 8. Early experimental Aardvark
  9. 9. User-centered agile engineering
  10. 10. Wizard-of-oz research leading algorithmic automation
  11. 11. Team and process learnings Experiment with process as much as with product •  Assume you are wrong •  Make continuous improvement the goal •  Hire and indoctrinate to support process Exploit collective wisdom •  Task people to collect and disseminate learnings •  Set aside regular time for discussion •  Make transparency the default
  12. 12. Additional Aardvark reading/viewing •  White paper on Aardvark Social Search - ( http://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) •  Startup Lessons Learned Aardvark Case study ( http://www.justin.tv/startuplessonslearned/b/262666882) •  Why Machines Need People ( http://blurkerlab.blogspot.com/2010/04/video-damon-horowitz-at- tedxsoma-why.html)

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