Friday Roundup – August 4, 2017
Each and Every Friday – I outline a few of the articles and /or books that I have read over the last week or two that are worth taking a look at.
- Why are some people so good at what they do? Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool say that no matter what field, improving is the direct result of “deliberate practice.”
Does Practice Make Perfect?
Deliberate practice is different than usual practice because it, as you may have guessed, is more deliberate. Usual practice goes like this: you begin with a general idea, such as how to play tennis. You get some instructions, practice until you reach an acceptable level and then let it become automatic. This is okay if you’re looking to be satisfactory, but if you want to be great, there is a huge problem: you stop improving.
- Gina Gotthilf, VP of Growth at language education platform Duolingo, is reluctant to spill one of her favorite A/B tests, but it’s too good not to share. “You know that little red dot on your app icon that indicates there’s something new, or something unresolved? That led to a six percent increase in our DAUs. It was six lines of code. I think it took about twenty minutes. And then our V2 for the dot brought an additional 1.6% increase in DAUs,” she says.
There are a lot of lessons packed into that anecdote: You can’t predict what’s going to move the needle. Optimizing a product is always a mix of the grand and the granular. But it’s the fact that Gotthilf has these stats at her fingertips that’s most telling. A master growth marketer, she knows the most important lesson of all: anything you send out to your users — even a dot — yields valuable data. So test it all, internalize every number, and use those results to inform what you do next.
- You may hear web scraping and shiver, thinking that it’s only for the most technical among us. However, marketers can use web scraping too, and they can get massive value from doing so.
You don’t even need to be super technical to figure it out, either.
While you’re probably aware of what web scraping is, at least on the surface level, let’s briefly discuss it just to keep an even footing.
What is Web Scraping? A Brief Primer
Web scraping is a form of data scraping used for extracting data from websites. That’s it.
If you, a human and a marketer, were to go to Yelp, search “restaurants in Austin,” and then copy and paste all of the information on that page to a spreadsheet, that would be a form of web scraping – no coding needed.
- There are several moments during a product design process when a team needs to make decisions because they have hundreds of ideas but no time to test them all. They can be really awkward because debates based on personal preferences and “I am the boss so I decide” can cause unnecessary conflicts within the team. Even with the good old “let’s vote” method, we can easily forget users’ needs. In addition, week-long discussions and decision procrastination can damage the product. So we have to be quick.
In this case study, you can follow a five-step guide to how we simplified complex design problems and made quick decisions to speed up the process.