I’ve compiled a list of some great articles and presentations around many of the key concepts that anyone building a consumer facing startup should know about to be successful. I’ll continue to build on this set of resources as I dig up more interesting stuff from my library and the web at large, but here’s the first set of resources to get you started.
The concepts outlined in no particular order are as follows:
Lean Product Management
Dan Olsen posted a great deck on SlideShare about how to do Product Management in a Lean Startup: http://www.slideshare.net/dan_o/lean-product-management-for-web-20-products/
- Multivariate or A/B Testing – An important concept for e-commerce, retail sites. Here is a great guide that delves into the concept at length: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/06/24/the-ultimate-guide-to-a-b-testing/.
Measuring Customer Conversion, Growth, and Engagement
- Cohort Analysis (UX focused article but good overview) -http://52weeksofux.com/post/646711369/cohort-analysis-measuring-engagement-over-time
- Online Testing – The key to driving sales conversions on e-commerce/retail websites is experimentation and testing user experience to determine the optimal path to sales. KissMetrics put together a great info graphic called Online Testing Essentials that’s a nice, quick read: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/online-testing-essentials/
- Startup Metrics – This is a presentation that has some great content on measuring startup success -http://500hats.typepad.com/500blogs/2009/09/startup-metrics-for-pirates-seedcamp-2009-sept-2009-london.html
- PPC - Pay Per Click (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_per_click), is really imortant for any e-commerce startup to understand for driving traffic to their site. Google Ad Words is king and is a great tool especially for early stage startups to drive traffic to your site so that you can start measuring conversions as quickly as possible.
- Affiliate Marketing – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affiliate_marketing. Affiliate marketing comes with some complicated rules regarding Nexus Tax laws but can still drive some great traffic to your site. PepperJam is a great affiliate network that I’ve had some good experience with.
- Bounce Rate - Another important concept to understand summarized by another great KissMetrics blog post: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/what-you-can-learn-from-bounce-rate-how-to-improve-it/
Site Analytics Tools:
Site Traffic, Engagement, and Revenue – To track overall sales, page views, vanity metrics, and PPC/Affiliate Campaigns.
Growth, Cohort Analysis, and User Behavior
- Mixpanel (we just started using this) – www.mixpanel.com
- KissMetrics (will be using this tool as well) – www.kissmetrics.com
Continuous Deployment is a process introduced by the Lean Startup where companies like WordPress currently do about 16 releases a day into production…believe it or not…through this process. It’s becoming a widely implemented norm at the many tech startups. Here’s an article about how Continuous Deployment is done at WordPress: http://toni.org/2010/05/19/in-praise-of-continuous-deployment-the-wordpress-com-story/