Data-Driven Startups

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July 07, 2010

Data-Driven Startups

Learn the 3 Steps to Data-Driven Startup Enlightenment. Originally presented at the Lean Startup Circle Meetup in Cambridge, MA on July 22, 2010.



July 07, 2010


  1. David Cancel - @dcancel Data-Driven Startups Lean Startup Circle

    Boston Cambridge, MA, July 2010
  2. David Cancel - @dcancel “In God we trust; all others

    must bring data.” - W. Edwards Deming
  3. David Cancel - @dcancel Who am I Companies Advisor Investor

  4. David Cancel - @dcancel The Problem: 98% of the people

    who visit your site, leave never to return.
  5. David Cancel - @dcancel The Problem: 98% of the people

    who visit your site, leave never to return.
  6. David Cancel - @dcancel We love making something from nothing.

    Yes, we’re hiring.
  7. David Cancel - @dcancel Talking, Reading and Dreaming are Worthless

    Get it done.
  8. David Cancel - @dcancel #JFDI

  9. David Cancel - @dcancel #JFDI Just Fucking Do It.

  10. David Cancel - @dcancel #JFDI Just Fucking Do It. Please.

  11. David Cancel - @dcancel Lean Startup? Customer Development? Who cares...

  12. David Cancel - @dcancel It can all be summarized into

    one sentence.
  13. David Cancel - @dcancel Does anyone give a shit about

    your dumb idea?
  14. David Cancel - @dcancel There are NO repeatable patterns for

    startup success. None. Stop looking for one.
  15. David Cancel - @dcancel Do I have your attention now.

  16. David Cancel - @dcancel Buy this book ★ This is

    the best startup book I’ve ever read. ★ I personally own two copies. ★ Required reading for startup engineers. ★ You can find it on
  17. David Cancel - @dcancel And this one too. ★ This

    is more of a “manual” than a “book”. ★ Good for everyone on your team to read. ★ If people care about your product read this to learn how to determine if you can turn your hobby into a business. ★ You can find this on Amazon.
  18. David Cancel - @dcancel But remember that you will not

    find any “secrets” in those books. Stop looking for one. Go solve a problem.
  19. David Cancel - @dcancel Ok enough ranting.

  20. David Cancel - @dcancel Time to talk data.

  21. David Cancel - @dcancel

  22. David Cancel - @dcancel Optimize your startup for learning by

    creating a data-driven framework.
  23. David Cancel - @dcancel Analytics & A/B Testing are also

    not the answer.
  24. David Cancel - @dcancel Use quantitative & qualitative data to

    test YOUR assumptions.
  25. David Cancel - @dcancel A/B Testing. Multivariate Testing. Huh?

  26. David Cancel - @dcancel Multivariate Testing is Useless.

  27. David Cancel - @dcancel You are way too small to

  28. David Cancel - @dcancel The point of testing is to

    prove or disprove assumptions quickly.
  29. David Cancel - @dcancel Multivariate testing leads to a non-gratifying

    experience because it takes too long.
  30. David Cancel - @dcancel The vast majority of sites should

    only use A/B testing. This means you.
  31. David Cancel - @dcancel Shameless Plug: Learn by example

  32. David Cancel - @dcancel Always Be Testing Just Don’t be

  33. David Cancel - @dcancel The Local Maxima Problem Your Design

    A Better Design Optimized at Local Maxima Current
  34. David Cancel - @dcancel The Local Maxima Problem Your Design

    A Better Design Optimized at Local Maxima Current I stole this slide from Joshua Porter - @bokardo
  35. David Cancel - @dcancel “Design is never done” - Joshua

  36. David Cancel - @dcancel Optimize your startup for learning not

  37. David Cancel - @dcancel The 3 Steps to Data-Driven Startup

  38. David Cancel - @dcancel Data-Driven Startup Checklist ★ Operating Dashboard

    ★ Conversion Funnel Analysis ★ Cohort Analysis
  39. David Cancel - @dcancel Skip the fancy shit and use

    Google Spreadsheet. Ghettofabulous.
  40. David Cancel - @dcancel Step 1: The Operating Dashboard.

  41. David Cancel - @dcancel A single place for your entire

    team to see where you suck the most.
  42. David Cancel - @dcancel Company-wide dashboard Everyone! Including interns. Fictional

  43. David Cancel - @dcancel Every initiative has to map to

    positive changes in these numbers.
  44. David Cancel - @dcancel Kill all features that don’t improve

    your operating metrics.
  45. David Cancel - @dcancel Only move to the second step

    after you’ve mastered the Operating Dashboard.
  46. David Cancel - @dcancel Step 2: Conversion Funnels

  47. David Cancel - @dcancel Metrics are fun, but Funnels kick

  48. David Cancel - @dcancel Fancy Forget pretty visualizations

  49. David Cancel - @dcancel Pretty Wasted time

  50. David Cancel - @dcancel Keep it ugly & raw Do

    this tomorrow morning.
  51. David Cancel - @dcancel Monitor your funnel weekly to see

    how changes are impacting your business.
  52. David Cancel - @dcancel If you aren’t doing this you

    are implementing lots of useless features.
  53. David Cancel - @dcancel Checkout my friends at to

    capture your funnel level data.
  54. David Cancel - @dcancel Step 3: Cohort Analysis

  55. David Cancel - @dcancel This is the “shot caller” of

    all analyses. Respect.
  56. David Cancel - @dcancel Cohort Analysis by Fred Wilson (post)

  57. David Cancel - @dcancel Without a cohort analysis you are

    flying blind.
  58. David Cancel - @dcancel Is your churn going up or

  59. David Cancel - @dcancel You don’t have a clue until

    you’ve done a cohort analysis.
  60. David Cancel - @dcancel Time for some more ranting.

  61. David Cancel - @dcancel Data Visualizations are a Waste of

  62. David Cancel - @dcancel Don’t use anything except for these

    3 charts.
  63. David Cancel - @dcancel 80% Frequency

  64. David Cancel - @dcancel 80% 15% Frequency

  65. David Cancel - @dcancel 80% 15% 5% Frequency

  66. David Cancel - @dcancel Focus on your business. Not data.

  67. David Cancel - @dcancel This is usually when I get

    some “data” questions.
  68. David Cancel - @dcancel Things clueless people ask ★ What

    type of algorithms do you use? ★ What metrics should I use? ★ Anything related to a regression analysis. ★ Anything related to data visualization.
  69. David Cancel - @dcancel No one cares how smart you

    are except for your mom.
  70. David Cancel - @dcancel Only one thing matters.

  71. David Cancel - @dcancel Does anyone give a shit about

    your dumb idea?
  72. David Cancel - @dcancel Thank You! David Cancel -