Suhail Doshi - How to Measure Your Product | Summary and Q&A

September 12, 2018
Y Combinator
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Suhail Doshi - How to Measure Your Product


In this talk, the co-founder of Mixpanel discusses the importance of measuring product success and provides insights on how to do it effectively.

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Key Insights

  • 🔍 Measurement is essential for product growth and success. It helps determine if people understand and find value in a product, and if it is easy to use and retain users. It also allows for continuous improvement and optimization.
  • 🎯 Choosing a Northstar metric is crucial for tracking the success of a product. It should be a metric that the company is willing to bet on and reflect the value provided to users.
  • 📊 The user funnel, from visits to retention and spreading the product, is a valuable framework for measuring product performance. Assessing each step helps identify areas of improvement and potential issues.
  • 🤝 Talking to users and gathering feedback is a critical part of understanding and improving a product. User feedback can provide valuable insights and help inform decision making.
  • 🚀 The basics of measuring a product are as important for large companies as they are for startups. Overcomplicating metrics and focusing on too many measurements can lead to decision-making paralysis and confusion.
  • 📚 Advanced topics in analytics and metrics can provide deeper insights and understanding. Following industry experts and reading their insights can be beneficial for improving measurement practices.
  • 💡 It is important to find the right balance between simplicity and complexity in product design and user experience. Building a seamless and easy-to-use product while still offering value and functionality is key.
  • 📉 The "shark fin effect" refers to the common growth pattern where a product experiences rapid growth followed by a steep decline. Focusing on retention is crucial to prevent this trend and ensure sustained growth.
  • 📈 Measuring and improving user retention is essential for product success. Metrics such as new users, daily active users, and monthly churn can help gauge the health and stickiness of a product.
  • 📏 Benchmarking metrics against industry standards can provide insights but metrics should be tailored to the specific business and industry. A focus on continuous improvement and experimentation is key.
  • 💡 Experimentation is crucial in understanding user behavior and optimizing product design. Testing different features and UI elements can help identify what resonates with users and drives engagement.
  • 🧠 Product-market fit can be measured quantitatively through metrics such as retention and user engagement. However, qualitative feedback and understanding user needs and satisfaction are equally important in assessing product-market fit.


we are very grateful to have sueldo she from Mixpanel who co-founded Mixpanel almost 10 years ago now and is going to talk about how to measure your product which as you heard from Gustav is really the other side of the coin of growth and everything that helps you build something that people truly want and will use so with that Suhail all right hel... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are some challenges that companies face when trying to measure product success?

Companies often struggle with defining the right metrics to track and over-complicate their analytics, leading to decision-making paralysis. Additionally, they may face difficulty in identifying the optimal user experience and onboarding process, and fail to prioritize retention metrics, resulting in a "shark fin effect" where initial growth quickly declines.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker shares his personal experience of founding Mixpanel and growing it into a successful company.

  • He emphasizes the need to focus on three key elements: understanding the product, ease of use, and user retention.

  • The speaker explains how to measure these elements and suggests starting with a simple formula: visits -> signups -> valuable actions -> user retention -> product spread.

  • He also highlights the importance of keeping metrics simple and avoiding over-complication, as it can lead to decision-making paralysis.

  • The speaker provides tips on how to measure and assess product success, such as tracking funnel conversion rates, measuring speed of onboarding, and monitoring dollar churn for subscription services.

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