Growing eyeballs at Facebook, some product management tips

Some intersting history of how Facebook grew users. Of course, this the case study is for a free service, that focuses on a high volume of users. I.e.: not an enterprise sales business that charges $3m+ per user-cum-customers.

Contextualizing aside, there’s some good product thinking:

Better know what your product is good for:

Knowing true core product value allows you to design the experiments necessary so that you can really isolate cause and effect.

Getting people to realize your product is useful, understanding and the wanting the value-prop:

Once you understand core product value you can create loops that expose that over and over again. You have to work backwards from ‘what is the thing that people are here to do?’ ‘What is the A-ha moment that they want?’ and giving that to them as fast as possible.”

The clock is ticking, the cash is burning:

“Startups only have so many opportunities to run an experiment in the product, and they’re also time bound by the cash they have in the bank. With that said you need to run experiments that matter.” “Experiments that count when you are using smaller samples have to be incredibly thoughtful.”

You’d think that would favor large organizations who have the scale of people, time, and money…if only they can switch over to this way of thinking.

Your best customer is one you already have:

Retention is the single most important thing for growth.” “Retention is the number one thing we focus on at Facebook. You can’t trick users into doing that.”

Link

If you’re into the whole macro thing:

In 1955 Asia and Africa accounted for less than one-quarter of global GDP; today their share is around two-fifths. Asian-African trade grew from $13.9 billion in 1990 to $276.6 billion in 2014, powered by some of the world’s fastest-growing national economies (Ethiopia topped the table in 2014, at 10.3%.

From [today’s Espresso](From The Economist Espresso: New order: Africa and Asia unite
http://econ.st/1zQB0uH).

Feedly grows subscribers 900% from 2013 to 2015

As a heavy RSS user, I care a lot about Feedly. So, when they announced that they’d gotten 50,000 paid subscribers, I threw together some quick math:

Feedly growth from 2013 to 2015
Feedly growth from 2013 to 2015

This isn’t a perfect comparision because the terms of subscriptions are different. The first 5,000 subscribers came from a Kickstarter selling a lifetime subscription for $99 (I was lucky enough to get in on that). The next batch – 45,000, I presume – are paying $45/year.

Still, there’s some cash. Hopefully it’s eough to keep it going. I actually just use Feedly for a backend as I do most of my reading in Newsify. What I’d really like is Flipboard to work with Feedly. But, you know, this isn’t the mid-2000s when things like that would happen.

Cloud service providers in their many forms drive an astonishing 35 percent of server CPU revenues for Intel, and these customers are the first ones to drive the company to offer customized chips. This year, 23 percent of server CPU chips bought by cloud service providers will be custom, and Intel expects it to be more than half of server chips purchased by cloud companies in 2015. Intel has roughly 100 standard Xeon and Atom SKUs at any time, but this year did 35 custom SKUs on top of that, compared to 15 custom chips a year ago.

Another chart from Stall Points.

This one bringing back lots of memories from working on corporate strategy, not for the content but for the semiotics and such: those little dotted lines indicating the thought put into making it easier to read, the legend with crisp text explaining the numbers, and the “walk” to the conclusion.

Above all of that is the courage to come up with a model and theory rather than just reporting the weather.

(It’s missing the critical title, a good McKinsey-style title that tells you what to think, which is just not in the screenshot since I yoinked it from a book.)