Why Does a Company Exist?“Many
people assume, wrongly, that a company exists simplyto make money. While this is an important result of acompany’s existence, we have to go deeper and find thereal reasons for our being. As we investigate this, weinevitably come to the conclusion that a group of peopleget together and exist as an institution that we call acompany so they are able to accomplish somethingcollectively that they could not accomplish separately—theymake a contribution to society."- David Packard
Defining Core PurposePurpose (which should
last at least 100 years) should not beconfused with specific goals or business strategies (whichshould change many times in 100 years). Whereas you mightachieve a goal or complete a strategy, you cannot fulfill apurpose; it is like a guiding star on the horizon -- foreverpursued but never reached. Yet although purpose itself doesnot change, it does inspire change. The very fact that purposecan never be fully realized means that an organization cannever stop stimulating change and progress.- Jim Collins
Defining Core ValuesCore values are
the essential and enduring tenets of anorganization. A small set of timeless guiding principles, corevalues require no external justification; they have intrinsicvalue and importance to those inside the organization…Ralph S. Larsen, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, puts it this way:"The core values embodied in our credo might be acompetitive advantage, but that is not why we have them.We have them because they define for us what we standfor, and we would hold them even if they became acompetitive disadvantage in certain situations.“- Jim Collins
Defining Strategic VisionStrategy takes what
you want to achieve and develops a planto get there. From strategy you can develop tactics andimplement them. For me, strategy is as much about what youare not going to do as what you are going to do.Strategy is important because the resources available toachieve your goals are limited.- Fred Wilson
Defining a BHAGTo build a
visionary company, you need to counterbalance itsfixed core ideology with a relentless drive for progress.One way to bring that drive for progress to life isthrough BHAGs (short for Big Hairy Audacious Goals). With hisvery first dime store in 1945, Sam Walton set the BHAG to“make my little Newport store the best, most profitable inArkansas within five years.” As the company grew, Waltonset BHAG after BHAG, including the still-in-place goal tobecome a $125-billion company by the year 2000. The point isnot to find the “right” BHAGs but to create BHAGs so clear,compelling, and imaginative that they fuel progress.- Jim Collins
Our 5 Major Strategic Initiatives1.
Increase customer retention in every cohort2. Return to profitability3. Reach a broader marketing audience with ourproducts, content, and brand4. <redacted>5. Improve Moz’s company culture
Why Greater Retention?Low retention (high
churn) is an indication that oursoftware isn’t critical or valuable enough to thecustomers trying our product. High retention (low churn),indicates we’re building something our audience needs,uses, and loves. That’s one of the key reasons we’re here!Higher retention enablesus to grow and improveprofitability much faster.High retention improves thevaluation of our business ina sale or IPO scenario.
How Do We Improve Retention?Improve
our in-app, email,and upfront productmarketing to create betterawareness & usage.Launch email alerts for FreshWeb Explorer to help bettershow the value of the data.Launch Moz Analytics, continue toupgrade features and improvebased on customer feedback.Start our customer mentor programto engage 1:1 w/ our subscribers,help them learn our product, andincorporate their feedback.Build & launch Moz Academy toeducate customers through video.Improve nav, design, userassistance and UX acrossour sites to make productsmore usable.Make Mozscape the web’s best linkindex, surpassing our competitors onthe key metrics of size, freshness,accuracy, and correlations.Ensure great uptime &reliable access to data
#2) Return to ProfitabilityWe made
a lot of big bets the last 12 months and spent a lotof cash, too. We need to see them pay off before we can re-invest in growth at the pace we want.
Why Profitability?Reduces risk of moreextreme
cost-cuttingmeasures in the future.Lets us invest in newopportunities throughcash flow growthMeans we don’t need toraise any more capital ortake dilutionRemoves the emotionalchallenges of having alimited runway
How Do We Get Profitable?Increase
the retention ratesof our Moz Analyticssubscribers.Reduce contractor costs,particularly in software devfor Moz Analytics.Launch Moz Analytics publicly andre-open our free trial customeracquisition funnel.Move the vast majority of our dataand software off of AWS and ontoour private clouds in TX/VA/WA.Grow subscription revenue byimproving our marketing funnel fromtop to bottom (visits, CRO, etc).Grow our API revenue byfixing billing errors andimproving data quality.
#3) Reach a Broader Audience22
million local businesses in the US70% say they use Facebook to market1mm have claimed Yelp profilesSources: Merchant Circle, Quora, Yelp,SELand, Bloomberg, Facebook80mm worldwide claimed G+ listings100mm worldwide in Apple Maps11mm businesses have Facebook pgs
We Will Do This w/
New ProductsMoz Local$TBD/monthServes small biz ownersand marketers focusedon local listingsMoz Alerts$TBD/monthServes entrepreneurs,PR folks, investors, andmarketers of all stripesMoz Analytics$99/monthServes professionalweb marketers focusedon inbound channelsMoz Data$VariableServes software devs &enterprises who needlink & mention APIs
Why a Broader Audience?Leverages existing
data sources &talent to create more value forcommunities we already reach andfor future customers we want to help,too.Gives us a greater long termopportunity to achieve thegrowth we (and our investors)want.Reduces reliance and risk on a singleproduct, and creates revenue &customer diversity (valuable toinvestors/market)We need to convert a smallerpercentage of a largeraudience, and we can start totap into early adopters inmore fields.A broader audience will helpgive us feedback and ideasnot present in the SEO world.If we want to grow, we need toreach a wider audience with ourcontent and marketing efforts.
How Do We Launch Local
& Alerts,and Broaden Our Content/Brand?Alerts will use thetechnology we’ve builtfor Fresh Web Explorer.Adventure Teams! Local alreadyhas a team and Alerts will get oneafter Moz Analytics is publicly ready.Local will use the GetListedbackbone, email lists, andmarketing platform to getearly traction.Publishing, e.g. our new InboundMarketing book and a marketingbook by Rand coming in 2014Blog posts,videos, socialsharing, andcommunityBig content pieces likeguides, ranking factors,studies, and surveysParticipation at conferencesand events in broadermarketing fields, aboutbroader topicsCreating relationships in a wider array ofmarketing venues on and off the web throughbusiness development and partnershipsMoz “CV”project to builda “Dribbble”for marketers
What Does Culture Do For
Us?Makes our professionallives more enjoyable,and helps us getthrough tough timesand frustrating workKeeps us accountableto TAGFEE and to ourmission/visionHelps us attract,motivate, and retainthe best & brightestpeople; our mostimportant resourceProvides a consistentframework for how wework together that wecan all believe in
How Can We Improve?Eliminate negativity
whilesupporting and acting onconstructive criticismImprove our communicationstyles, channels, andprocessesBe more empathetic to one anotherby experiencing each other’sperspectives and challengesCreate more consistency andtransparency across teams andprocessesReturn to a less stressful, morestable/sustainable, high growthenvironmentHire a VP of People to helptake on ownership, strategy,and execution of theseendeavors
Everything we work on must
be:1) Mapped to one or more of these initiatives2) Measurable with numbers that are madetransparent to everyone at the company3) Prioritized against other things that canmove the needle on our initiatives
e.g. Make Mozscape the BestHappier
customers, because ourdata maps to what they see fromtheir analytics, Google, and ourcompetitorsMake Mozscape the web’s best linkindex, surpassing our competitors onthe key metrics of size, freshness,accuracy, and correlations.More loyalty andevangelism from expertOSE/Mozscape usersDirectly makes other products (FWE/Moz Analytics)better and more useful
e.g. Make Mozscape the BestBig
data team could instead work on:Google AnalyticsalternativeLink analysis/building-focused features insideOSE/Moz AnalyticsTraffic estimationprojectKeyword researchalternatives
e.g. Make Mozscape the BestBig
data team could instead work on:Google AnalyticsalternativeLink analysis/building-focused features insideOSE/Moz AnalyticsTraffic estimationprojectKeyword researchalternativesNone of these feel as high priority or directlyimpactful to our current strategic initiatives
Balancing TAGFEE Can Be HardHow
do we talk about what wentwrong with Moz Analytics?A retrospective might help, but it will take a lot ofcareful balance between transparency & empathy.
All of Us Get TAGFEE
Wrong SometimesAre Sarah and Rand really firing eachother if we don’t launch Moz by June 1?We were using “firing each other” as aforcing function, but it was probably inpoor taste and not TAGFEE.
We Do Need to Apply
TAGFEE In More PlacesTeams (Functional & Adventure)Meetings (all kinds)Bi-annual Performance ReviewsWeekly 1:1s w/ ManagersProduct Design & DevelopmentWebsite UXMarketing EffortsHow We Interact With Each Other
We Need to Have Answers
to Tough QuestionsHow can we be inclusive while staying agile? Which is moreimportant, or does it vary based on what’s being done?How do we prioritize TAGFEE? What if being TAGFEE to oneperson is non-TAGFEE to a team or to customers?How can I better understand a project that I’m worriedabout without bothering/derailing the people working on itHow can we give critical feedback that is still empathetic?When does it make sense to define a process vs. just doingsomething fast? When is it right to break an existing process?
We Need to Give It
Some ProcessThese are Amazon’score values madeactionable (andprobably a bitscrubbed for publicconsumption). Weneed to do some ofthis at Moz.
And We Need to Make
Ourselves AccountableHow do we measure if feedauthority is sufficiently transparent? How do we measurehow generous FWE isor isn’t?How do we improveif we didn’t build itright the first time?How do we know if the productdesign process was empathetic?
We Will Make TAGFEE Better
TogetherAs I noted in my Top 5, I’ll beworking with some folks internallyto brainstorm the right questionsand answers over several workingsessions. If you’re passionateabout this, please email@example.com and join in.