Lessconf: Colin Devroe, How to measure success

Second up at LessConf, Colin Devroe of Viddler on “How to measure success”.   Colin kicked off his talk with a demonstration of Eating Lighting (you’ll have to ask him).

Common Pitfalls and Solutions

Pitfall #1: Don’t make unfair comparisons. Comparing yourself to others leads only to following.  You end up becoming just another choice.  You become “a choice for pizza”.

Solution: Do fair competitive analysis.  Listen to your customers and focus on differentiators.  Use product feature matrixes to see what’s missing in the marketplace, not as guide to keep up with competitors.

Pitfall #2: Ignore unfair comparisons. Your product will be compared apples-to-oranges to others.

Solution: Just because something is the hot-topic of the moment doesn’t mean you need to react.  If the hot-topic feature doesn’t fit your core business model, ignore it.  Focus on wanting the right customers!  If you choose not to ignore it, become part of the conversation even if you don’t make changes – take the chance to get in there and talk about what you are doing and why.

Pitfall #3: Popularity is rarely a good metric. Popularity is expensive and fleeting.

Solution: Take advantage of (fleeting) popularity. Measure everything (A/B testing). Retain popularity by differentiation, user investment, user engagement and personal relationships.

“One amazingly bad example”

Viddler’s self-service revenue-sharing project called “Viddler Revenue“.  They spent way too long to build the self-service offering, only to find out that the industry was not ready for it.  Made the mistake of unfair comparison – they looked at what others were doing and tried to copy.

Lessons learned: never stop learning (even if you fail), stick to your core business, build relationships with partners (and competitors!), and follow industry standards.

How to measure success

“Customer Satisfaction is the #1 success metric.” If you have happy customers but are not making money, then something is wrong with your business model.  Customers will let you know if they are happy and will let you know how to make them happy — if you have open lines of communication and easy ways for them to contact you.  And once you find happy customers, you want to duplicate them and clone them.  Find out why they choose you and replicate those happy customers.


– Don’t force yourself into unfair comparisons.

– Be smart about how you handle unfair comparisons made by others.  Either ignore them or smartly respond, but don’t have a knee-jerk reaction.

– Popularity is rarely a good metric, it is not a goal to reach for it’s own sake.

– Customer Satisfaction is the #1 success metric.

Good job Colin!  (http://cdevroe.com/  @cdevroe)

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