Category posts
Product

All about the product: product/market fit, Retention, metrics, unit economics, LTV, cohort analysis, added value, etc. Find out about the basics or go deeper and explore nuanced topics.
Author:
Oleg Yakubenkov
Long-term retention—the foundation of sustainable product growth
Long-term retention—the foundation of sustainable product growth

The most common metrics gaming companies focus on are Day-1, Day-7, and Day-30 retention rate. While these metrics are of great help early in the journey, it’s long-term retention which is key to lasting success and a seat in the top-grossing charts. This post makes a case for long term-retention and why your focus should be first and foremost there.

→ Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

Learn growth and realize the maximum potential of your product in Product Growth Simulator.

Join our discussion on LinkedIn. New topics to talk about every week.

(more…)
Author:
Oleg Yakubenkov
How launching new products for existing audiences can help grow your company

In the previous essay of this series, we discussed how established companies and products can grow by entering new markets through movement into adjacent dependent segments in the value chain. Today, we will talk about another growth path: building new products for an established user base.

We will explore several examples where companies have successfully—and at times, not so successfully—used this growth path. We will also try to define a set of questions that will help to make a more informed decision about choosing this vector for a particular company.

→ Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

Learn growth and realize the maximum potential of your product in Product Growth Simulator.

Join our discussion on LinkedIn. New topics to talk about every week.

How launching new products for existing audiences can help grow your company
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Author:
Oleg Yakubenkov
How to find new markets through value chain analysis

I have been familiar with the concept of the value chains for quite a long time. However, it wasn’t until I read Ben Thompson’s Stratechery blog (I highly recommend reading it at https://stratechery.com/) that I came across its practical applications in market analysis. Looking at products and companies from the point of view of their position in the value chain opens up a new perspective that helps to understand them, find not-so-obvious opportunities, and make more effective decisions.

Today I’ll talk about value chains within the context of expanding an established business or product to new markets. There will be more essays devoted to companies entering the new markets. In each, I will focus on different aspects of this process.

In this series of essays, I want to analyze the possible ways for businesses and products to enter adjacent and new markets. I will also discuss the advantages, nuances and pitfalls of these methods.

In this post, I focus on one of the most risk-free ways to enter a new market, which basically involves moving along the value chain towards the related dependent segments.

→ Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

Learn growth and realize the maximum potential of your product in Product Growth Simulator.

Join our discussion on LinkedIn. New topics to talk about every week.

How to find new markets through value chain analysis
(more…)
Author:
Oleg Yakubenkov
Importance of clearly defining the metric. Or why Spotify’s paying conversion rate is not 40%
Importance of clearly defining the metric. Or why Spotify’s paying conversion rate is not 40%

Many articles online compare the freemium conversion rates of Spotify, Dropbox, Slack, and Evernote. In one article, the author claims that Spotify’s freemium conversion tops Dropbox by 667%. Another article states that Spotify freemium conversion rate is above 40% while “for most companies that leverage this business model, freemium conversion rates hover somewhere between 2 and 5 percent.”

In this post, I will dispel the myth that Spotify’s conversion rate is somewhere around 40-50%. More importantly, I will discuss why It is very important to be clear about what data underlies a certain metric because people sometimes use the same metric name but in effect, they mean different things.

→ Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

Learn growth and realize the maximum potential of your product in Product Growth Simulator.

Join our discussion on LinkedIn. New topics to talk about every week.

(more…)
Author:
Oleg Yakubenkov
How engagement metrics can be misleading
How engagement metrics can be misleading

It is common to evaluate your product performance and the impact of changes you make by using engagement metrics with active audience in the denominator. Examples of these metrics include the time spent per active user, the occurrence of certain actions (messages sent, levels played, chapters read, etc) per active user, or ratio metrics (what percent of active users perform a specific action) .

In most situations, these engagement metrics will be helpful. But in some cases, they can be misleading. And it is important to understand why and when this can happen, and what you can do about it.

→ Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

Learn growth and realize the maximum potential of your product in Product Growth Simulator.

Join our discussion on LinkedIn. New topics to talk about every week.

(more…)
Author:
Oleg Yakubenkov
What is product/market fit and how to measure PMF
What is product/market fit and how to measure PMF

Product/market fit is an important concept when working on a new product. All entrepreneurs and product managers are committed to it. But if you ask what the term means, very few will be able to give a clear answer. Even fewer will have an understanding of how we can measure product/market fit using metrics.

Without a clear definition, even the most useful concepts will be of little help when making decisions. In this post, we will discuss some of the most common product/market fit definitions and their advantages and disadvantages, as well as tell you about PMFsurvey.com (Product / Market fit survey by Sean Ellis) developed in collaboration with GoPractice, which is designed to give you an objective metric of how close are you to Product / Market fit.

→ Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

Learn growth and realize the maximum potential of your product in Product Growth Simulator.

Join our discussion on LinkedIn. New topics to talk about every week.

(more…)
Author:
Oleg Yakubenkov
Rolling retention, Day N retention, and the many facets of the retention metric
Rolling retention, Day N retention, and the many facets of the retention metric

Retention rate is one of the fundamental metrics in product management. We all use it regularly, yet few of us know that there are many different ways to calculate retention rate. And it is very important to know which one to use when you’re making decisions based on retention data.

Let me start with a story. When I worked at Zeptolab (popular game development company, creator of Cut the Rope, King of Thieves, CATS) once we got an email from a gamedev studio that wanted us to publish their game. We were getting many similar emails, but that one got our attention. We were impressed by the metrics of the game, which had just recently soft launched. According to the developers, Day 1 retention rate of the game was over 55%, and Day 7 retention rate was over 25%.

However, when we started playing and testing the game, something felt wrong. The gameplay was not engaging enough to justify >55% Day 1 retention rate. And the meta game design was not good enough to users in the longer term.

Further investigation revealed that what this game development company called retention was actually “rolling retention.” Classic Day N retention of the game happened to be unimpressive.

This is just one example of how retention metrics can misguide you. There are many nuances in how you can calculate it.

→ Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

Learn growth and realize the maximum potential of your product in Product Growth Simulator.

Join our discussion on LinkedIn. New topics to talk about every week.

(more…)
Author:
Oleg Yakubenkov
Analytics without numbers: viewing products through users’ eyes

Here are two things you’ll hear a lot from product teams:

1. A lot of data is needed to reduce uncertainty and get an accurate picture of users’ needs and behavior.

2. People working on products understand and know their users well.

The above statements are misconceptions, and in both cases, the reverse is true. In this post, I will discuss how analyzing user behavior without big data (debunking the first premise) will help us avoid the unpleasant outcomes of thinking you already know your users (debunking the second premise).

→ Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

Learn growth and realize the maximum potential of your product in Product Growth Simulator.

Join our discussion on LinkedIn. New topics to talk about every week.

Analytics without numbers: viewing products through users' eyes
(more…)
Author:
Oleg Yakubenkov
To reduce your product’s churn rate, first find out why users stay

Most of us have learned to think about products in terms of user churn at specific steps in the funnel. We keep asking ourselves “Why do users leave?” and then we try to find and fix the reasons for this. We assume that solving those issues and removing friction will improve the key product metrics.

Funnel optimization surely is a good approach to improve key product metrics. However, it doesn’t work in all situations. And when it does work, it usually only brings incremental improvements, not fundamental changes.

Today, we’re going to talk about a different approach when examining your product. This approach can boost your product, and sometimes it can take your product to a completely new direction.

I suggest posing the question “Why do users stay?” before “Why do users leave?”

→ Test your product management and data skills with this free Growth Skills Assessment Test.

Learn data-driven product management in Simulator by GoPractice.

Learn growth and realize the maximum potential of your product in Product Growth Simulator.

Join our discussion on LinkedIn. New topics to talk about every week.

To reduce your product's churn rate, first find out why users stay
(more…)