Is My Baby Ugly?

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Should you think about pivoting? I shared some thoughts and a frank view of how we arrived at a decision to pivot from SnapGoods to Knodes. This talk was given at the Hard Candy Shell & Fanfeedr Product Insights Conference on October 7th.

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  • My name, company, success\nHere to talk about how you might consider taking a good hard look at your creation. your brainchild. your baby. and decide to chuck it or change it substantially.\n
  • I wanted to borrow a bike and a friend didn’t have one, so I convinced a man on craigslist to lend me one. That was the basis for SnapGoods.com. The safest way to rent or borrow gear from anyone nearby.\n
  • \n
  • Microsoft bought WebTV for $450mm in cash and stock in 1997. It saw the writing on the wall that tv and web would converge. It just did a crappy job of making something consumers were excited about.\n
  • In 1973, Dahl established Rock Bottom Productions, a company that sold the rocks for US$3.98 $13.00 in 2011 bucks\nIn first six months $15mm in sales = $60mm today\n\n
  • or like, if you capture 100% of the market. But where are you at now? sub 1%? \n\nEasy to talk about what your business WILL look like. Are you tracking to achieve in a timeframe you can live with?\n
  • You should be estanlishing a culture of data driven decision making from the first day. You will get some of the things that you should be watching wrong but that’s ok. You’ll learn as you go. We were pretty jazzed about time on site when we started until we realized you couldn’t pay rackspace with time on site metrics.\n
  • or like, if you capture 100% of the market. But where are you at now? sub 1%? \n\n\n
  • These are the things that your business ultimately must excel in to live and get to scale.\n\nFor us it was transactions. SnapGoods is ultimately a network of needs and haves\n
  • That means matching supply and demand AND geographic proximity. No good if you have the surfboard I need in Honolulu and I’m trying to surf out at Rockaway Beach\n
  • first derivative - what’s your current rate of change\nsecond derivative - Is this + or - or 0\nWe were positive on both but not enough to be anything like a gerber baby curve\n
  • Ever heard of a company that reports it’s Earnings to Media coverage ratios? Exactly. The challenge is is you\n20K plus users about 25% of whom have activated and posted\nBut even though users are in the thousands, transactions are in the hundreds.\n
  • understand your operating leverage. where can you gain unfair advantage?\n
  • \n
  • Maybe our assumptions are wrong about the efficacy of tweeting and facebook status updating blindly and broadly. let’s us the data.\n
  • We take the data (conversations, pictures, profile data) that you have access to and give you insights about everything from expertise to referrals. When I need a motorcycle now, I jump on Knodes and it lets me know that 26 ppl to whom I’m connected can hook me up. We found a way to drive targeted requests. Better matches.\n
  • 3rd party application makers across a couple of verticals looking for ways to extract more information from their users’ social graphs \n
  • \n
  • We can make customers of former competitors\nWe can open up new markets\nUnique opportunity to leave SnapGoods alone and still see it grow even while we focus 100 of our product engineer and partnership efforts on Knodes\n
  • No absolut formula\nBy definition as an entrepreneur and/or creative thinker you’re pre-disposed not to listen \nDid the Wright Brothers ditch their flight project after their first few failed attempts? Did Jay Z give up on rap when no-one would sign him?\nYou and your team have to assess for yourselves\n
  • No absolut formula\nBy definition as an entrepreneur and/or creative thinker you’re pre-disposed not to listen \nDid the Wright Brothers ditch their flight project after their first few failed attempts? Did Jay Z give up on rap when no-one would sign him?\nYou and your team have to assess for yourselves\n
  • Is My Baby Ugly?

    1. 1. Is My Baby Ugly?How to Figure out if it’s Time to Pivot
    2. 2. I see solutions everywhere
    3. 3. In fact I once made a bolo
    4. 4. Great Idea ≠ Successful Product
    5. 5. Successful Product ≠ Great Idea
    6. 6. Every business is awesome... Ki+en
Mi+ens! 60mm
cats
 in
US
ALONE 3.8
paws
per
cat =$228mm
market ...at
scale
    7. 7. When do you reassess? FROM
DAY
1 NEVER
STOP
    8. 8. Are you on an ugly baby trajectory? Day
1 Not
Long Really??
    9. 9. Identify your ‘Live or Die’ Metrics Check‐ins?Impressions? OR Downloads? Sales? Posts? Referrals?
    10. 10. For SnapGoods, it’s transactions NO TCH MA
    11. 11. So we started watching trends with intense “funnel vision” Your
numbers
mean
nothing
 without
‘Live
or
Die’
trend
context
    12. 12. Don’t be distracted by Vanity!We’re
growing!
300+
new
users/dayPages
per
visit
are
high!
7.5/visitJust
featured
in
the
Media...Again
    13. 13. Break it down!TransacYons come
fromMatching
Supply
&
Demand which
happens
faster
when...
    14. 14. ...you tell your users to post their needs/actions socially, RIGHT?But
our
Conversion
as
%
of
socially
 Shared
Links
SUCKED
    15. 15. Instead of ...Target
specific
peeps
 ...ShouYng
 based
on
social
datato
the
crowd...
    16. 16. So we built Knodes (http://knod.es) Now
your
networks
actually
work
when
you
need
to
know
something.
    17. 17. But also found that other peoplewanted Knodes for themselves Who’s
at
the
door??
    18. 18. So we got out of the building and started listeningCustomer
development.
Customer
ValidaYon.
    19. 19. We decided to follow the money And
lower
fricYon And
scalability And
extensibility First
group
of
paying
pilot
customers
lined
up
    20. 20. Sometimes Ugly is Relative
    21. 21. 1 Dig into your business’ data 2 Assess your timelines 3 Consider your trajectory4 Analyze your points of leverage Follow
me
on
TwiEer
 @ronjdub

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