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Showing posts from January, 2016

8 Metrics from Proper Instrumentation of a Business and Its Product

I want to continue my post from Tuesday about the importance and value of instrumentation. Today, I want to share SaaS metrics that can be answered with proper instrumentation (operational and business). Cost of acquisition. This is cost to capture an unaffiliated buyer. Need to know the costs associated with closing this opportunity including marketing costs, engineering support, etc. For this metric, it’s important to track the flow and behaviors of a customer through websites, sales touches, etc.D1, D7, D14, D30 retention metrics. Here, D stands for “day” and the number refers to the number of days since a user first enters the system. This metric tracks the percentage of returning users to the service in D days –gauge “stickiness”.Open and Click-Through Rates of Emails. Many products these days have email engagement and nurture campaigns. Here, companies measure if users are opening these emails and, if applicable, are they clicking into a destination the company is looking for.Dr…

What Gets Measured Gets Improved: Tools for Instrumentation

One of the chapters of my book is all about measuring engagement and implementing analytics – chapter aptly dubbed, “What gets measured gets improved.
The lesson is to “instrument” an application to gather data points of how users interact with the product. Quickly, you can assess if users are traversing all the steps of a Getting Started Wizard, getting stuck while building out a team, or exiting a page with above-average frequency.
We implemented Google Analytics at Body Boss which delivered anonymized data at an aggregate level – useful, but doesn’t give finer perspective into engagement. More powerful instrumentation would including capturing “events” to every actionable UI element (i.e. button), page, etc. For example, in Twitter, events would include when a user navigates to a user’s profile, scrolls down, Likes a tweet, and then searches for another user.
There are many fascinating tools for instrumentation on web pages, in-app uses, and beyond. Here are a few I’ve recently …

Reflections After 2 Weeks of Publishing My eBook

Time to reflect after two weeks of publishing Postmortem of a Failed Startup: Lessons for Success. It’s been a great journey, but it’s really just the beginning. Now comes the hardest part – promoting the book. Just like any startup, it’s about execution now.If you publish on Amazon’s Kindle platform, be careful when you say, “available on Kindle”. Most people don’t know Kindle is just the platform, and there’s a Kindle app available for any device – many think it’s just Kindle e-reader.Editors made my book way better. The first version of the book took < 10 days. It was full of content, but lacked cohesion and vision. The first round of edits immediately made the book 10X better. The more critical, the better. Three formal rounds of edits later (+ several personal ones)… book was in shape for publishing!It’s very easy to self-publish a book, and doesn’t cost much money. Friends as Editors = $0. Cover photo = $12. Cover self-editing = $0. Copyright registration = $55. International…

6 Take-Aways From My F-Up Talk

Last Thursday, January 14th, I had the pleasure of speaking at the second Atlanta FuckUp Nights event. FuckUp Nights is an organization in over 150 cities with events highlighting stories of failure. The format includes four speakers each with 10 slides that auto-progress 40 seconds each.
The organizers expected 65 in the crowd, but we kicked off with over 100. Needless to say, the organizers, Tim Adkins and Jay Cranman, did a great job getting the word out.
I had the honor of speaking among TJ Muehlman (Cofounder of Standard Code), Jerica Richardson (Cofounder of HackOut Ninja), and Kyle Azevedo (Cofounder of [former] ViaCycle).
The talk went fantastic. I got a lot of great responses including many who related to my story and learned a lot. Take-aways from the experience… I had seven consecutive black slides that looked like one slide with the auto-transition. This allowed my story to flow without sticking to a rigid format. (Hey, I’m an entrepreneur – I disrupt things.)Rehearse, r…

9 Realizations After Journaling About Positivity Every Day For 169 Days

So last year was an interesting year with lots of different opportunities – both good and bad. I remember back in July of 2015, though, I was struggling badly with a project. I mean, I was incredibly anxious. Saying I was stressed would be a big understatement.
When I realized I was going down this spiral, I needed to change what I was doing and focus on pulling myself up. One key practice I did was journaling at the end of every day.
I wanted to write, for 30 days, in a journal focusing only on what went well that day or what made me happy. I usually reflect on my day already including what I could have done better and what didn’t go well. However, I wanted to focus on positive thoughts to right the ship.
It was a powerful exercise, and I caught myself writing in my journal even when I got home at 4AM and was dead tired. I continued writing beyond 30 days and quickly made a goal to write for 90 days straight! Well, I blew past that, too, and decided to just continue through the re…

Being Uncomfortable Never Changes

“I see her standing there… I think I’ve seen her around, but now, I’m seeing her right there in front of me. She stands out with almost a glow to her. I can’t explain it, but I’m immediately drawn towards her. My heart’s racing because I know that if I don’t say anything to her at all, she may disappear and I’ll never see her again. I have to make a move, right? She’s not wearing a ring… that’s a good thing. Crap! She’s seen me. Ahhh, the jig is up! Okay, I need to get up and introduce myself. How do I greet her? Should I just walk right up and tell her I think she’s beautiful? Maybe. Wait… maybe I can just say I’ve seen her around, and I just want to introduce myself. Is that too casual? What’s my next move after that? Should I ask her out? Will I have this opportunity again? I really wish my heart would stop beating so damn fast… I think it’s about to jump out of my chest. Damn, I’m getting hot under these clothes now… Crap! She’s getting up to leave… what do I do?! Eff it! I’m goin…

Disney’s New Parking Deck Was Magical

I recently went to Disney World with my family like most every year. I am constantly in awe by what Disney attempts and achieves. A couple years ago, I was fascinated by Disney’s MagicBands. This year, I was fascinated by… their new parking deck at Disney Springs (formerly “Downtown Disney”)!
From the outside, the parking garage looks normal, if not massive with 3,000 spaces spread across 5 levels. When you enter, you see a sign with the number of spaces per level. This is pretty normal. I’ve seen this before and often questioned their accuracy.
What does get interesting is when you pull into the deck and see counts of available spaces per row.
Telling me how many spaces per row?! Now that just goes beyond what most parking areas do. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s parking deck is big and complicated with one-ways and angled entries and exits. When I’m frantically searching for a parking spot because I’m running late for my flight, more detail with counts per lane…

My Book on Startups and Entrepreneurship is PUBLISHED!

Last week, I was excited to announce I was writing an ebook on startup and entrepreneurship. Today, I’m THRILLED to announce the book is PUBLISHED!
Postmortem of a Failed Startup: Lessons for Success is now on Amazon’s Kindle platform! I’ll probably have a couple more posts about the book in the upcoming weeks, but till then, I’ll just share with you the essentials…
You can download the book from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01A2NGDZ0
I wanted to give the book away for free believing in the power of “free” for greater reach, but Amazon wants some money for their distribution. So, it’s actually $0.99.
I wanted to capture all of the elements of my startup’s journey from inception to its eventual closure. Thus, I’ve written the book cradle-to-grave covering the following chapters: AcknowledgementsForeword **Provided by the great Don PottingerFirst, let me tell you about our Dream and my hopes for this book.Solve a real problem with a 10X better solution.Pick an industry where y…