Product Analytics Newsletter
Edition #20
September 9, 2019

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Building A Market
We’ve talked about O’Reilly’s criticism of the blitzscaling strategy before (here’s his take on it). Essentially, his stand is that we should be against the “winner take all” VC-backed approach. His arguments are that we should be aiming to create healthy markets where many can strive 🧘‍♂️.

There’s much to be learned from O’Reilly’s story as his company, O’Reilly Media, were the first commercial website on the web. They built a market that would profit a whole ecosystem of actors. This is in contrast to the current idea that the new economy should be lead by big monopolies . But who really profits from this model?

Listen to his story and ideas on this “Build a Market by Building an Ecosystem” episode of The Product Science Podcast.

Beyond Installing Segment
I’ve talked of Segment before in the context of how we conceive our ideal product analytics stack. Segment is a bit like the nervous system of your data infrastructure – capturing event data from multiple sources and piping it to destinations.

But we’ve noticed cases where Segment is being installed, events are being configured and data flows to multiple destinations – all without any strategy. That causes a flood of meaningless data that instead of helping product owners answer questions, just leads to more confusion. 🤷‍♂️

Having seen that struggle, I wrote a post on how to really take advantage of Segment. By first consolidating your investment. And then by reaching for analytic’s holy grails .

Going Beyond Just Installing Segment – Consolidate Your Investment and Reach For Product Analytic’s Holy Grails”, by Lantrns Analytics

Mixpanel’s Guide To Product Analytics

I’m liking Mixpanel more and more and I think it’s a really valuable component to any product analytic’s ecosystem. I also like the ideas they contribute to what product analytics is and how to do it effectively.

Case in point is their guide to product analytics (note that you need to fill a form to access it). There are some very well structured ideas here that are worth every product owner’s time who is considering to pursue their analytical journey. For example this table of metrics that could be tracked in different user journeys.

That said, I think their take on product analytics is a bit too much framed their own product’s capabilities, which makes them cut corners a little. For example, I think their definition of product analytics is too focused on user behaviour metrics, which is perfect for tactical analysis of whether product improvements are delivering the right value.

But what about more strategic questions that relates to product-market fit. What are they KPIs that will guide you towards a product that fulfills its mission? Not sure you can track those in Mixpanel. And you won’t read about it in this guide. 🤫

Google Ads Malpractices Denounced By Basecamp CEO

Basecamp’s CEO Jason Fried stirred the pot this week by denouncing Google’s practice of placing ads in front of organic results even for a company’s brand.

The initial tweet and ensuing conversation is worth reading. But I think the ad they ran says it all.

Not only is this questionable practice, but as a user, it’s annoying. Whenever I search for something obvious such as Basecamp, why do I need to scroll down to the first organic result instead of having it at the top? Google’s revenues are more important than user experience.

Btw, if you search for Google on Google, you won’t get paid ads before organic results. Just saying. 🙄

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How can you leverage data to strategically grow your digital product? This newsletter’s mission is to share data analytics’ best practices and new ideas with product owners, so they can incrementally and intelligently improve their product.

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