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[WMD 2015] Greylock Partners, Josh Elman


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[WMD 2015] Greylock Partners, Josh Elman

  1. 1. Launching a Rocket off Someone Else’s Back: How to build on other platforms Josh Elman @joshelman May 1, 2015
  2. 2. Just Yesterday…
  3. 3. This has gone on for a while
  4. 4. Should you even touch a platform?
  5. 5. YES Short answer:
  6. 6. Everybody starts at zero
  7. 7. And everybody starts by hustling
  8. 8. Virality is a goal
  9. 9. Longer answer: 1) Companies start with zero users. 
 They need to get in front of users to grow. 2) Big platforms have a lot of users. 
 There are lots ways to get in front of those users.
  10. 10. We live in an era of HUGE platforms 3.5B searches per day 1.3B users 1B+ active users 800M active users 600M active users 300M active users 300M active users 300M users growing very fast
  11. 11. What would they love to see: the best results for a query friends sharing more content users sharing and watching more videos friends and family talking more friends and family talking more sharing and viewing more pictures sharing and viewing more content professionals sharing more content more content
  12. 12. Partnerships sure can be nice…
  13. 13. But very rare and hard to balance
  14. 14. Stop asking and start building: Platforms are partnerships
  15. 15. Are you sure? Platforms seem so shaky
  16. 16. Why does a company want a platform? 1) Their roadmap is HUGE and they can only build so many things at once to achieve goals (“Top 20”)
 “Every user or customer wants their own special feature. How can we build features 21-1000?” 2) The fastest way to more engineers is to outsource 
 “What if we could entice people to build things for us?”
 3) Platforms offer a powerful network effect
 “If everyone uses us, it’s harder for them to leave”
  17. 17. Let’s open a platform!
  18. 18. Every successful platform needs: 1) Clear incentives for developers to get value
 Show me the users 
 Show me the money $$$ 2) Clear value for users
 More to do on the product = more time, more fun
 3) Trust from users
 Users have to trust the platform protects them
  19. 19. Why does a company fear a platform?
  20. 20. Why does a company fear a platform?
  21. 21. Platforms have to keep changing 1) The users of the product want new experiences
 If any consumer product stops getting better, it will die 2) The platform’s business model changes or solidifies
 Opportunities to make money shift platform strategy
 3) Users stop using apps
 The platform has to address bad behaviors and increase user trust
  22. 22. Some examples
  23. 23. YouTube and MySpace (Embedding)
  24. 24. Slide, Zynga, and Facebook
  25. 25. Socialcam and Facebook
  26. 26. Facebook and media sites
  27. 27. Twitter, Clients, and Hootsuite
  28. 28. Twitter and Meerkat
  29. 29. Instagram is a huge success
  30. 30. Dubsmash and Whatsapp
  31. 31. The next platforms! FB Messenger Snapchat? Pinterest?
  32. 32. Platforms can still work for you… 1) Remember the value exchange
 Give the platform’s users better features, content, etc
 The platform gives you users and usage 2) They are an accelerant. Never get comfortable
 Platforms always change. Take advantage of a moment.
 3) Only core users who come to your front door matter
 Don’t ever get confused with big numbers of visitors
  33. 33. Launching a Rocket off Someone Else’s Back: How to build on other platforms Josh Elman @joshelman May 1, 2015