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Launching a Rocket off Someone Else’s Back:
How to build on other platforms

Josh Elman @joshelman
May 1, 2015
Just Yesterday…
This has gone on for a while
Should you even touch a platform?
YES
Short answer:
Longer answer:
1) Companies start with zero users. 

They need to get in front of users to grow.

2) Big platforms have a ...
Everybody starts at zero
With a goal of becoming huge
It always starts with hustle
But hustle isn’t always enough…
Go where the users are
We live in an age of HUGE platforms
Description
signed up yesterday
active users used the service in last month
inactive u...
Partnerships are always nice…
But partnerships are really really hard
Should you even touch a platform?
Ok, but how can I tell?
1) Usage: Do they use your product how you expect? 

Track: #users taking core actions each day 

...
LinkedIn Circa 2005
Usage:
Find and be found

Cycle:
Find: 2-3x/week
Track: #users who log
in and search per day

Be found...
Yelp
Usage:
Find local businesses/
services. And review
them. 

Cycle:
Searchers: 2-3x/week

Track: #users who
search per ...
Facebook
Usage:
Stay connected with
friends

Cycle:
2-3x/day

Track: #users who log
in and view News
Feed
Expedia
Usage:
Plan a great trip

Cycle:
3-5x/year

Track: #users who
search per day
ARE PEOPLE REALLY REALLY
USING YOUR PRODUCT?
So they may be using it once, but…
Really really using? (aka “Core Users”)
1) Top of Mind: Do they come directly to your product vs
referred by a link or spe...
Launching a Rocket off Someone Else’s Back:
How to build on other platforms

Josh Elman @joshelman
May 1, 2015
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[WMD 2015] Greylock Partners >> Josh Elman, "Launching A Rocket Off Someone Else’s Back: How To Build On Other Platforms"

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Josh Elman, Partner, Greylock Partners

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[WMD 2015] Greylock Partners >> Josh Elman, "Launching A Rocket Off Someone Else’s Back: How To Build On Other Platforms"

  1. Launching a Rocket off Someone Else’s Back: How to build on other platforms Josh Elman @joshelman May 1, 2015
  2. Just Yesterday…
  3. This has gone on for a while
  4. Should you even touch a platform?
  5. YES Short answer:
  6. Longer answer: 1) Companies start with zero users. 
 They need to get in front of users to grow. 2) Big platforms have a lot of users. 
 There are lots ways to get in front of those users.
  7. Everybody starts at zero
  8. With a goal of becoming huge
  9. It always starts with hustle
  10. But hustle isn’t always enough… Go where the users are
  11. We live in an age of HUGE platforms Description signed up yesterday active users used the service in last month inactive users last used service 1 month ago resurrected users first use in over 1 month
  12. Partnerships are always nice…
  13. But partnerships are really really hard
  14. Should you even touch a platform?
  15. Ok, but how can I tell? 1) Usage: Do they use your product how you expect? 
 Track: #users taking core actions each day 2) Cycle: Do they use it at the frequency you expect? Track: #users who visit at least N days in a week or month
 3) Retention: Are they sticky? Will come back to this…
  16. LinkedIn Circa 2005 Usage: Find and be found Cycle: Find: 2-3x/week Track: #users who log in and search per day Be found: 1-2x/year(?) Track: response rate to InMail
  17. Yelp Usage: Find local businesses/ services. And review them. Cycle: Searchers: 2-3x/week Track: #users who search per day Reviewers: 1x/week(?) Track: #reviews / day
  18. Facebook Usage: Stay connected with friends Cycle: 2-3x/day Track: #users who log in and view News Feed
  19. Expedia Usage: Plan a great trip Cycle: 3-5x/year Track: #users who search per day
  20. ARE PEOPLE REALLY REALLY USING YOUR PRODUCT? So they may be using it once, but…
  21. Really really using? (aka “Core Users”) 1) Top of Mind: Do they come directly to your product vs referred by a link or special offer Track: % users with direct traffic / engagement 2) Recurring: Do they come back again and again Track: % users who return weekly/monthly 3) Referring: Do they share it with others? Track: k-factor, and % users who are referrers
  22. Launching a Rocket off Someone Else’s Back: How to build on other platforms Josh Elman @joshelman May 1, 2015

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