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…where to spend the bucks!

A lightly edited excerpt from an article by Josh Elman appearing here. Though dated, the anecdote and the concept are still relevant, I thought. And for companies not merely in the product space. Here we go:

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Pretty much every new app has the following problem: lots of people sign up but don’t stick around.

I frequently get asked what are benchmarks for retention after one day or one week. My answer tends to be the same for products in the early days:

Ignore the benchmarks. Find the patterns in the stories of people who do get your product. Figure out what converted them and got them so excited to keep using your product every day or every week. In the early days, your main focus should be to attract and create more and more of those “core users” who deeply use your product. Over time you can try to increase averages, but first, you just need a core and strong base.

Most people look too much at the “big data” and try to draw conclusions. In the early days of a product you have to talk to people. You need anecdotes much more than data. You could say The plural of anecdote is data.

To collect anecdotes, you have to talk to actual users. The best users to call are ones who can help you understand why they tried your product and what hooked them. I like to look for bouncebacks. Bouncebacks are users that have tried your product, bailed immediately and didn’t find it useful, came back to try again for some reason (at least 1 week later, or even better, 1 month later), and then got hooked.

The first step is to identify some bounceback users to call…

From these patterns, you can invest in revising your marketing and improving your product and onboarding. Revamp your messaging to focus more on the messages that brought people back and got them engaged. Update your product and onboarding to simplify whatever the users did the second time to get fully engaged…

We learned from early users that many of them signed up for Twitter and thought it was just a megaphone. When they had nothing to say, and didn’t otherwise understand the product they bailed. When they later heard about how valuable Twitter could be if they followed their reverend or the food truck that broadcasts its location every day, they came back and tried again. But this second time they specifically sought out people to follow and had a good experience. We rapidly rebuilt our onboarding to focus much more on following and finding the right people which caused significant increases in how many users were activated after signing up. We revised our messaging to talk much more about finding and following the right people on Twitter instead of talking about tweeting and broadcasting.

I recommend doing this exercise of interviewing new bounceback users every 6 months. You’ll learn a lot about how to keep improving your adoption and activation.

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Source: Image from publiclibrariesonline.org

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…worth adapting.

The first one was a duster/mop I saw at Amman airport.

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The arms of this duster could be opened out fully cutting a double-width swathe to mop the floor in fewer passes.  The two arms could also be brought closer to handle narrower spaces.

The second one was seen in use by men delivering supplies to our cruise ship parked at Luxor.

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It’s a wooden ‘L’ saddled on the man’s back using a harness.

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Here he can be seen carrying boxes on his back, his hands free to open doors, handle documents, etc. and importantly, an unobstructed line-of-sight ahead of him.

I saw one of them easily carrying a nearly-four-feet pile of odd-shaped packages without any fear of dropping. Could be imaginatively adapted for a variety of load-carrying scenarios – though certainly not for back-bending jobs like carrying sacks of rice!

 

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Floods

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Source: DumpADay.com

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Finally a product no one would sniff at:

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Thoughts On Design

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Deciding to take up jogging, the middle-aged man was astounded by the wide selection of jogging shoes available at the local sports shoe store.

While trying on a basic pair of jogging shoe, he noticed a minor feature and asked the clerk about it.

“What’s this little pocket thing here on the side for?”

“Oh, that’s to carry spare change so you can call your wife to come pick you up when you’ve jogged too far.”

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Credits: arcamax.com

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