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It takes a village: Scaling your vision

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A talk for Eric Reis /Steve Blank's UC Berkeley class on entrepreneurship. Given by Rashmi Sinha and Jonathan Boutelle (CEO and CTO of SlideShare).

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It takes a village: Scaling your vision

  1. 1. It takes a Village: Scaling your Vision Rashmi Sinha & Jon Boutelle SlideShare
  2. 2. Began with a Vision <ul><li>Share all presentations in the world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A free, truly useful service </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build community around presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Use YouTube as a metaphor / design guide </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hit the same gaming dynamics (the leaderboard game) & distribution channels (embeds drive new users to site) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Driven by Design <ul><li>Founders believed in importance of user experience </li></ul><ul><li>Early engineers very UX-focused </li></ul>
  4. 4. Where Everybody knows your Name
  5. 5. What led us to Metrics <ul><li>Becoming more disciplined about how to grow </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to scale by vision as team grew </li></ul><ul><li>Define a direction so team-members can independently execute against it </li></ul><ul><li>Launch of paid features </li></ul>
  6. 7. Metrics Version 1 <ul><li>Individual devs, individual metrics. </li></ul><ul><li>Built a web-based dashboard, with charting. </li></ul><ul><li>Highly configurable, inspired by Slide. </li></ul><ul><li>Highly visual: humans great at visual processing, pattern-matching </li></ul>
  7. 10. #fail
  8. 11. #epicfail
  9. 12. Why? Metrics
  10. 13. Metrics are not sexy
  11. 14. Metrics need a Social Context <ul><li>Making sense of metrics takes time. No social process around iterating based on metrics </li></ul><ul><li>No person in team who was driving metrics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developers often not right for this role. May see as distraction from code </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Metrics also need iteration! </li></ul><ul><li>Developers may resist being judged by the behavior of users </li></ul>
  12. 15. We are all Spoiled now
  13. 16. Metrics Axed my Favorite Feature <ul><li>Metrics make implicit prioritizations explicit. Some people (including founders) used to making decisions based on intuition </li></ul><ul><li>Reveal that some beloved features might be useless! </li></ul>
  14. 17. Event-Tracking FTW Focus on ratios of events to page loads, NOT absolute numbers.
  15. 18. Metrics Version 2 <ul><li>Email reports on a daily basis, showing numbers for a trailing range of days. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everyone working on project gets in their inbox (data comes to you) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lots of numbers (provide context). But one number identified as one to focus on </li></ul>
  16. 19. Social Process around Metrics <ul><li>Weekly meetings for each team </li></ul><ul><li>Review what shipped, review impact / lack of impact on numbers, plan next week </li></ul><ul><li>Always one person in product manager role: i.e. deep in metrics, shallow on code </li></ul>
  17. 20. Email!
  18. 21. More Email! Edit data
  19. 22. Case Study: 4x growth of leads collected <ul><li>For newly launched business features </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One number the main focus. Other periphery numbers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Daily email reports worked well. Weekly meetings to plan for next week </li></ul><ul><li>Change paths every few weeks </li></ul>
  20. 23. Case Study: Metrics, Clean Code & Visual Design <ul><li>Main page: Slideview page </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complaints of clutter, page load time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page performed well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Code underneath the page also fugly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution: periodic refactorings / design cleanups. “Clean it up without trying changing to effect numbers” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual tweaks while monitoring metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Balance: engagement vs. virality </li></ul></ul>
  21. 24. Hitting Local Maxima <ul><li>Stable metrics. Tweaks no longer lead to growth. Growth will come new ideas, directions, vision </li></ul>
  22. 25. Why Version 2 Works <ul><li>Push rather than pull </li></ul><ul><li>One number to focus on </li></ul><ul><li>Social context and process around the metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Warning: REALLY EASY to drown in metrics </li></ul>
  23. 26. How to Frame Team Goals <ul><li>Tasks: “Move this number using copy, creative, and simple design changes” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use any means necessary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Success: Moving the number OR learning something interesting </li></ul>
  24. 27. Operational Metrics: an Interlude <ul><li>Site uptime, average speed of page load </li></ul><ul><li>Conversion: Ave time for conversion for each document, ave wait time for user </li></ul><ul><li>Apdex: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blended read of page load time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page load time </li></ul></ul>
  25. 30. Why not use this neat charting for real time user data?
  26. 33. Using Infrastructure as a Service
  27. 35. What Would we do Differently <ul><li>Start in same way </li></ul><ul><li>Start paid services earlier </li></ul><ul><li>Hire non-engineers (who help drive by metrics) earlier </li></ul><ul><li>Nurture metrics mindset in team earlier </li></ul>

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