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First 100k users are always the hardest

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  • Good stuff - I really liked the part about 'ideas are a dime a dozen' and 'execution matters'. Thanks for sharing...Arnie.
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First 100k users are always the hardest

  1. 1. The first 10k users are always the hardest Rashmi Sinha, SlideShare
  2. 2. Who am I?
  3. 3. SlideShare... <ul><li>best place in the world to share presentations </li></ul>
  4. 4. Taking over the world (one PowerPoint at a time!) <ul><li>Start May 06 > Beta > Launch Oct 06 > Grow > Grow more > Angel funding Dec 07 > Series A Apr 08 > Grow more </li></ul>
  5. 5. 1. Make your app useful
  6. 6. Solve one problem really well
  7. 7. Make app social <ul><li>SlideShare as non social app </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PowerPoint plugin? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No virality </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 2. Speed is imperative
  9. 9. Why startups need speed?
  10. 10. Small & fast
  11. 11. Set the tone for speed <ul><li>In hiring, development, design, releases, biz dev </li></ul>
  12. 12. Be agile <ul><li>(worry about scaling later) </li></ul>
  13. 13. 3. What to build
  14. 14. Why we built products we did <ul><li>MindCanvas: Could sell into market </li></ul><ul><li>SlideShare: Understood market </li></ul>
  15. 15. 37signals: Build less
  16. 16. Build for right reasons <ul><li>Start with less </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add complexity (when necessary) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remove features </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Get people used to change </li></ul>
  17. 17. To build a feature or not to <ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to loudest? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Watch behavioral metrics? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Read blog posts? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Loudest users OR silent majority <ul><li>slidecasting example </li></ul>
  19. 19. How to double traffic ?
  20. 20. Anatomy of a feature launch <ul><li>Groups: V1, V2 & V3 </li></ul>
  21. 21. 4. How to Launch
  22. 22. The Alpha Feedback to the embed No publicity Browser compatibility issues
  23. 23. How developed should a Beta be? <ul><ul><li>SlideShare beta </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enough to get point across </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Little of social layer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not buggy </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. SlideShare launch <ul><li>Invite only: Before or after launch? </li></ul>Alpha Stealth mode Open to all Launch Invite only
  25. 25. Initial Momentum
  26. 26. 5. Use metrics
  27. 27. What metrics? <ul><li>Performance: page load times... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Errors: 404, 500s... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traffic: Web logs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Database tracking: No. registrations, login, uploads, contacts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Customer feedback emails </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Get yourself a shadow app <ul><ul><li>Metrics we care about </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Simple console with daily, hourly </li></ul><ul><li>Simpler than web analytics </li></ul><ul><li>Whole team uses it </li></ul><ul><li>Measure project success, iterate </li></ul><ul><li>Proxy AB testing </li></ul>
  29. 29. Daily email reports
  30. 30. 6. Scaling Community is hard
  31. 31. Community is a great way to grow <ul><ul><li>No marketing costs, users evangelize </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constant stream of feedback </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Scaling community with millions of users <ul><ul><li>Users help each other? </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. 7. Outsource what you can
  34. 34. Outsource complexity <ul><li>Amazon S3, EC2 </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated servers instead of colocation </li></ul><ul><li>Google Ads </li></ul><ul><li>Google Search </li></ul><ul><li>Different widgets (Gigya, AddThis) </li></ul>
  35. 35. 8. Working with remote teams
  36. 36. Challenges <ul><li>Getting to know each other </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to develop informal rapport </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to look at same screen. </li></ul><ul><li>Body clock </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits: 24 hour cycle </li></ul>
  37. 37. Synchronous is must Skype GoToMeeting
  38. 38. SCRUM End of day reports
  39. 39. 9. Ideas are dime a dozen
  40. 40. <ul><li>NO EXECUTION = $1 </li></ul><ul><li>WEAK EXECUTION = $1000 </li></ul><ul><li>SO-SO- EXECUTION = $10,000 </li></ul><ul><li>GOOD EXECUTION = $100,000 </li></ul><ul><li>GREAT EXECUTION = $1,000,000 </li></ul><ul><li>BRILLIANT EXECUTION = $10,000,000 </li></ul>AWFUL IDEA = -1 WEAK IDEA = 1 SO-SO IDEA = 5 GOOD IDEA = 10 GREAT IDEA = 15 BRILLIANT IDEA = 20 Ideas are a multiplier. Execution is all that matters X http://www.oreillynet.com/onlamp/blog/2005/08/ideas_are_just_a_multiplier_of.html
  41. 41. Care about execution <ul><li>Scrutinize ideas: “can we execute on this?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How fast? When can we start work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What will first version take? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which team member will do it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What metrics to track progress? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What will we push back to work on this? </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. 10. Understand market size (& revenue model)
  43. 43. http://www.flickr.com/photos/docman/5053155/
  44. 44. Potential market size <ul><li>No of PowerPoint presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs & Video </li></ul>
  45. 45. Potential revenue streams <ul><ul><li>AdSense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affiliate Networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsorships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fremium </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Licensing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>White label version </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketplace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Job board </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional services </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Good early legs <ul><li>Adsense </li></ul><ul><li>Consulting revenue </li></ul>
  47. 47. Revenue stream impacts application <ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pro accounts & Fremium </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>White label solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>-Revenue stream should not kill virality </li></ul><ul><li>-Don’t loose focus on majority </li></ul>
  48. 48. Problems with fremium
  49. 49. VC money? <ul><li>Retain control till you can </li></ul><ul><li>Take money (if you absolutely need it) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From right partners </li></ul></ul>
  50. 50. Finally <ul><li>slides at </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.slideshare.net/event/webvisions-2008/slideshows </li></ul><ul><li>find me at </li></ul><ul><li>www.slideshare.net/rashmi </li></ul>We are hiring!

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