Nov 10, 2014

Getting Analytical and What Makes You a Great PM

Few months back, Peter and I started connecting with the Startup Digest readers.

To be transparent and fair, Peter and I wrote a medium post (“What makes a good startup event”) and shared it with our readers.

Still, we were frustrated with the lack of good data on those readers. We had a choice. On the one hand, we could ignore our readers and improve the digest using our knowledge. On the other hand, we could devise ways to collect more information.

Quantitative data is important. But, I recall a conversation with Ryan Glasgow, in which he pointed out how valuable qualitative data is in the right hands. (By the way, Ryan will speak on 11/18 at Weebly - see below.)

We decided to craft a very simple survey, and we gathered some direct data not available via Google Analytics or Mailchimp. For example, we obtained data like job title, which could link to net promoter score.
I performed a rudimentary regression analysis and compiled the results of the Startup Digest survey analysis - Silicon Valley.
It turns out, asking the right questions is really important, and in some ways, this was a squandered effort. We are now looking into something like a cohort analysis, but the data we have from Mailchimp is pretty limited.
I started looking into this, and suspect that many of you would either enjoy teaching or learning either one of the following:
  • Survey design - asking the right questions
  • How to perform cohort analysis
As related in an earlier post about data-driven hustling, the first step is simply getting into the mindset of measuring, and starting super simple.

Reading List

Use this spreadsheet for churn, MRR, and cohort analysis by Andrew Chen

“Cohort analyses are also essential if you operate a SaaS business and want to know how you’re doing in terms of churn, customer lifetime and customer lifetime value.”

53 Articles and Books that will Make you a Great Product Manager by Noah Weiss

This is a collection of links and articles.

The Agony and Ecstasy of Building with Data by Julie Zhuo

“Can’t decide how you truly feel about the future? Have Data and A/B Test take the decision out of your hands. Don’t want to invest long-term in something that has the uncertainty of failure looming in the horizon? Take the easy path instead with a bevy of A/B Tests.”