Product Discovery analysis of Redbooth

There are 4 phases to a player’s journey for your product:

  1. Discovery: how a player learns about your product
  2. On-boarding: how a player signs up and learns how to use your product
  3. Scaffolding: the period when a player uses what they learned during on-boarding to achieve as many Win-States as possible
  4. Endgame: the period when a player has done everything at least once and there are no longer unexplored Win-States

In this article, we will analyze the Discovery Phase of Redbooth, a product in a highly competitive market: the project management/team collaboration market.

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Dashboard human-focused redesign of Bluehost

Bluehost has been good to me for the past 10 years. I use them for junloayza.com and many of my other sites because they have absolutely terrific customer support.

However, to be brutally honest, their product is incredibly difficult to use because they lack a human-focused design approach. In particular, their login dashboard is tremendously confusing–I’m completely lost every time I log in.

So, to thank Bluehost for their 10 years of great service to me, I’ve decided to make some suggestions for their login dashboard by taking a human-focused design approach.

The following is my thought process and recommendations for a human-focused redesign.

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Product Design analysis of Yelp

Octalysis is a Gamification framework. I use it to analyze products or services and to design for human motivation throughout a system (Human-Focused Design). You can learn more about Octalysis here.

In this post, I’ll conduct a Level 1 Analysis of Yelp.

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How I captured 2,778 subscribers in 4 months

In June of 2016, my friend Yu-kai Chou approached me with a challenge he had:

What can I do to exponentially improve my business right now?

“What is your long term vision?” I asked.

“I want to build an educational platform that helps people improve their personal and professional lives through the teachings of Octalysis.” Yu-kai proudly stated. “The business model will be a monthly subscription.”

What follows is a detailed analysis of how I helped Yu-kai build a self-sustaining acquisition and activation engine that will hopefully lead to a very successful educational business.

Results from my work with Yu-kai:

  • Captured 2,778 emails in 4 months
  • 39.5% email open rate
  • 6.9% click rate
  • Grew the Facebook Group from 400 members to 1,544 members in 4 months

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Read this before you buy a home

To buy or rent a house? That is the question…

I recently sent an email to my network letting them know that Kim and I bought a home:

If you’re interested in learning more about the research I did and why I ultimately chose to buy a home (even though there are much better financial investments), reply to this email and I’ll send you my notes.

To my surprise, hundreds of people replied to my email requesting my notes. After all, I claim that there are “much better financial investments”.

Because there was such a high demand for my notes, I took the time to refine my research with my good friend Steven Chen.

I find it surprising that to this day, many educated, savvy millennials are brainwashed to believe that buying a home is a “smart financial investment.” In fact, as you’ll see in our research, buying a home (to live in) is a terrible financial investment when compared to the alternative (rent and invest in the market).

Without further ado, let’s dive into the research.

I could not have published this article without the help of Steven Chen. Thank you my friend.

Also, thank you to my friend Tiffany Chin who worked tirelessly to find us our perfect home. If you’re in the hunt for a home in Southern California, then I highly recommend you give Tiffany a call.

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On setting priorities

“The podcast is key for our success. We absolutely need to differentiate our content so that professionals begin to see us as experts in online marketing.” Grant argued.

“I just don’t see it. Sure, podcasts are an interesting medium, but the vast majority of successful podcasts are created by entertainment and media publications such as NPR.” I retorted. “The podcast won’t be a big customer acquisition channel for us.”

“It can and it will. Trust me.” Grant was persistent.

Priorities. Everyone has them; few people actively and consciously set them.

There are two challenges we face with setting and accomplishing priorities:

  1. Scheduling distraction-free time to complete priorities
  2. Prioritizing priorities (see what I did there)

To settle our debate about creating a podcast in Q2, Grant and I conducted a priority session. In this article, we’ll examine how we set priorities on the Growth Team for Bunny Inc.

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Product design analysis: Dropbox Carousel vs Google Photos

“What should I use to save my photos online?” Kim asked.

“I use Dropbox. They have this nifty camera uploader that automatically uploads all of my photos to the cloud.” I responded. “The thing is, it costs $99/year. It seems like a waste if we’re both paying for it.”

Kim did a quick search on the app store for photo storage. “How about Google Photos? It’s free and it seems easy enough to use.”

The motivation behind using photo cloud storage is very functional: I want to save my photos online so that they are never lost. Through its function-focused design, Dropbox Carousel achieves its simple purpose.

It’s hard to get someone to switch products, even if you offer something slightly better. Amazon Photo came out with a free service, but I didn’t make the switch from Carousel to Amazon. I ignored the free product because the functionality was basically the same and $99 was not a big enough pain for me to make the change.

However, after watching Kim use Google Photos for a week, I immediately jumped ship from Carousel and made the move to Google Photos.

This is the power of human-focused design over function-focused design.

In this post, we will examine why I made the switch from Carousel to Google Photos and how a human-focused design beats a function-focused design every time.

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On selling your product for free

“Guys, we are on fire! I’m selling our product like hot cakes fresh out of the oven.” I exclaimed as I walked into our office/home.

Yu-kai and Stephen turned to me from their laptops with a bright smile. Our company, RewardMe, was off to a terrific start. In only 2 weeks of walking door-to-door, I had signed up 30 restaurants and retailers in Downtown Mountain View.

However, our positive attitudes quickly faded when we realized clients wouldn’t pay for our product. Yup, I was walking door-to-door, selling our product for free. We fell into a startup trap: we thought businesses loved our product, when in reality, businesses love free stuff.

We had to pivot our business model quickly or else we would run out of cash in no time.

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