I am always a little disappointed by S1 filings. As a VC investor, ex-engineer and product leader, I am trained to look for the secret sauce in every business – the leading indicators of future outcomes that forecast what success could look like. However, most S1 filings just present the standard wall street analyst metrics like year-over-year growth, gross margin and cost of revenue.
I hate the term “influencer.”
In tech, you can often find “influencers” talking about various new developments on TechCrunch and Fortune, while other people (who are actually the best at what they do) are in the trenches, working.
Maintaining your agility while simultaneously making the product development process predictable is one of the biggest challenges any product leader faces.
It was about a year ago that we realized:
- we were failing at this, and
- our laissez-faire, do-what-you-will take on project management was the culprit.
This was hard for us to accept because our lack of rigid project management was exactly what had allowed us to build a great product in the first place. As time went on and both our team and product grew, the project management philosophy that once propelled us ahead had begun to slow us down.
Confirmation bias is one of the most pervasive tendencies in human nature.
Bestselling author and professor, Michael Shermer sums up the reason why we are so susceptible to confirmation bias: “Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.”
Confirmation bias is the human tendency to interpret new information as a confirmation of our existing beliefs and ignore it if it challenges our existing beliefs. For example, if you see a glowing object in the night sky and you’re a firm believer in UFOs, you might be convinced you’ve just spotted an alien spacecraft.
The presence of confirmation bias has been well-documented in everything from the 2016 U.S. election to scientific research. And product managing, growth hacking and analytics are definitely not immune to it. Here are some important examples of confirmation bias in product management and analytics and suggestions for how to avoid it.
A couple months ago, Amplitude CEO Spenser Skates did an AMA with one of our favorite online communities GrowthHackers. GrowthHackers is a network of growth professionals looking to share their knowledge and collaborate on growth best practice; obviously we were excited to answer questions about user behavior analytics! Spenser also used the opportunity to share his personal experience as an entrepreneur, growing a SaaS business and his thoughts on analytics as a key driver of retention and growth.
If you missed out on the AMA, this recap highlights some of the really great questions we received!