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Mark Jeffrey Startonomics LA

Dealmaker Media
Dealmaker Media
Dealmaker MediaCEO at Dealmaker Media

Mark Jeffrey of Mahalo on Product Development at Dealmaker Media's Startonomics LA Conference on Feb 6/09

Mark Jeffrey Startonomics LA

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Product Development 101
Product Development 101


“Any huge success story like Netscape or
Apple is like a sausage factory. Everybody
likes to eat the sausage; no one likes to see
how it gets made. These things are all
sausage factories inside.”

                 - Marc Andreesen
                   co-founder of Netscape
Product Development 101
Product Development 101


Our Process
Preparation: 1 week

1.  We start with *full mockups*, not wireframes
2.  Simultaneously, data schema is planned
3.  GO SLOW, so you can go fast


Why full mocks?

1.  The biggest issue is COMMUNICATION.
2.  Whitespace is NOT the enemy!
Product Development 101


You Tell Me:
a.  What it is, I will then tell you how long it will take




OR



b.  How long I have, I will then tell you what it is *


* (Of course, it never really happens that way … )
Product Development 101


After One Week of Prep, Begin Writing
  Code
1.    Week One: codejam: 7 days, 12 hrs+
2.    Everyone works in one room
3.    Meet every morning, define day’s tasks for each person
4.    Meet every evening, see what is done / not done
5.    At the end of codejam, project is 60% is complete
6.    The plan for the remaining 5 weeks is defined
Ad

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Mark Jeffrey Startonomics LA

  • 2. Product Development 101 “Any huge success story like Netscape or Apple is like a sausage factory. Everybody likes to eat the sausage; no one likes to see how it gets made. These things are all sausage factories inside.” - Marc Andreesen co-founder of Netscape
  • 4. Product Development 101 Our Process Preparation: 1 week 1.  We start with *full mockups*, not wireframes 2.  Simultaneously, data schema is planned 3.  GO SLOW, so you can go fast Why full mocks? 1.  The biggest issue is COMMUNICATION. 2.  Whitespace is NOT the enemy!
  • 5. Product Development 101 You Tell Me: a.  What it is, I will then tell you how long it will take OR b.  How long I have, I will then tell you what it is * * (Of course, it never really happens that way … )
  • 6. Product Development 101 After One Week of Prep, Begin Writing Code 1.  Week One: codejam: 7 days, 12 hrs+ 2.  Everyone works in one room 3.  Meet every morning, define day’s tasks for each person 4.  Meet every evening, see what is done / not done 5.  At the end of codejam, project is 60% is complete 6.  The plan for the remaining 5 weeks is defined
  • 7. Product Development 101 The Can’t Chart. Oh, I meant GANTT chart. :) (In all seriousness: This is how you focus)
  • 8. Product Development 101 TROUBLESHOOTING Yes, the problem MIGHT be your app … but it might be your network!
  • 10. Product Development 101 Machine and Networking Metrics: Ganglia
  • 11. Product Development 101 Machine and Networking Metrics: Keynote RedAlert
  • 12. Product Development 101 … And just before Launch: The Feature Cram! (This is where the GANNT chart comes in handy) Simply do what you can (you will inevitably cram a few of these in), but *stick to the code freeze*.
  • 14. Product Development 101 LAUNCH! 1.  Don’t be afraid to suck in public 2.  … But FIX IT -- and FAST! 3.  Those humans out there will always do things you never expected or planned for. 4.  Identify both your successes and failures and iterate: It’s more important than anything else!
  • 15. Product Development 101 KEY METRICS FOR ANSWERS: 1.  Number of Questions asked per day 2.  Unique Visitors / Pageviews 3.  Mahalo Dollars given as tips in the system 4.  Speed to first Answer Feedback Mechanisms: -  feedback@mahalo.com: goes to EVERYONE -  Twitter (we watch continuously) -  Blogs (same) -  People will feedback inside questions and answers on the site
  • 17. Product Development 101 Initial Mahalo Answers Metrics New Tips Questions Answers Signups Entered 12/21 162 $315 267 1,570 12/22 203 $172 302 1,634 12/23 240 $354 316 1,618
  • 18. Product Development 101 Tips vs Time To First Answer Time to First Answer (ALL): 141 mins With Tip: 40 mins BREAKDOWN OF TIPS / TTFA Tip >= $5 : 28 mins Tip >= $10: 13 mins Tip >= $20 : 10 mins <<<--- Sweet Spot! Tip >= $50 : 130 mins Expressing your data as ratios helps you understand whatʼs really going on.
  • 19. Product Development 101 Google Analytics Goals - Track Conversions -Track Pathing - Identify Mudpits
  • 20. Product Development 101 Use SKITCH to illustrate problems - Beats “It doesn’t work” or “Fail!” - Helps devs on different browsers who perhaps do not see the same thing
  • 21. Product Development 101 With a little luck, your new product will change everything!