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10 Million in 10 Weeks - What Stanford Learned Building Facebook Apps

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10 Million in 10 Weeks - What Stanford Learned Building Facebook Apps

  1. 1. 10 Million in 10 Weeks What Stanford Learned Building Facebook Apps (Stanford CS377W, Fall 2007) Dave McClure Digital Leadership Summit 5/13/08
  2. 2. Master of 500 Hats? <ul><li>Developer </li></ul><ul><li>Entrepreneur </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimate Frisbee Player </li></ul><ul><li>PayPal Mafia </li></ul><ul><li>Fan of Microfinance </li></ul><ul><li>Startup Advisor / Angel </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Tech Blogger </li></ul><ul><li>Conference Organizer </li></ul><ul><li>Social Network Addict </li></ul><ul><li>Stanford Lecturer </li></ul><ul><li>Startup Metrics </li></ul>
  3. 3. A Stanford Class on Facebook?!? (who let you guys escape from the funny farm?)
  4. 4. In The Beginning… (Summer 2007) <ul><li>BJ & Dave had lunch at O’Reilly Foo Camp </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstormed teaching a new Stanford course about applying metrics to app design, product mgmt & mktg </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Platform had conveniently just launched </li></ul><ul><li>“ Hey: why don’t we use Facebook as a ‘petri dish’ for the lab work, and see what students come up with? </li></ul><ul><li>... </li></ul>D
  5. 5. D
  6. 6. Curriculum (Alpha Version) 3 Apps   (!) 1.  Virality 2.  Engagement 3.  Education-focused <ul><li>Hoping to leverage . . . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Huge reading list </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Metrics-based grading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychology of technology </li></ul></ul>Expecting 20-40 students... D
  7. 7. ...120 showed up R
  8. 8. ...So we scared some students off. B
  9. 9. 7 person teaching team (2 instructors, 3 TAs, 2 coaches) 75 students (25 teams of 3) Over 50 apps created B
  10. 10. Team Effort <ul><li>Stanford University </li></ul><ul><li>2 Instructors : BJ Fogg & Dave McClure </li></ul><ul><li>3 Student TAs : Dan, Rob, Greg </li></ul><ul><li>2 Team Coaches : Yee (Slide), Jia (RockYou) </li></ul><ul><li>Industry Support : Facebook, Google, MySpace, Joyent, Amazon, SocialMedia, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Outside Speakers : platforms, app developers, startups, angels, VCs, Stanford alumni </li></ul><ul><li>Press : WSJ, NYT, Fortune, SF Chronicle, San Jose Mercury, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, GigaOm, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Community Support & Cheerleading </li></ul>
  11. 11.   B
  12. 12.   D
  13. 13. Every class was exciting and surprising D
  14. 14. Students drove us forward B
  15. 15. Students come together outside of class... D
  16. 16. So, What Happened?
  17. 17. Initial Success!!! R
  18. 18. Success Stories R
  19. 19.   B
  20. 20. <ul><li>10 Million in 10 Weeks   Total Installed Users: 20M+ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5 apps @ 1M+ users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10 apps @ 100k users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20 apps @ 5k users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Total Daily Active Users (DAU):  925k 6 apps with ~ 100k DAU 10 apps with > 10k DAU 19 apps with > 500 DAU 5 Apps in Facebook Top 100 Top Apps (according to Adonomics): ~ $10M </li></ul>B
  21. 21. BayCHI Student Presentation B
  22. 22. Final Expo in December 2007 500+ people show up R
  23. 23.  
  24. 25. More Successes R
  25. 26. <ul><li>Aftermath </li></ul><ul><ul><li>  $500K - $1M+ revenue generated in ~6 months </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5 Commercial projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4 Stanford dropouts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 companies formed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 companies acquired </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 startup funded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More job offers than students can handle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teach the class again? </li></ul></ul>D
  26. 27. What Did We Learn?
  27. 28. Learnings from Stanford's FB Course <ul><li>#1. It's never too late to create a winning app </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When we launched course, over 6000 Facebook apps existed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10 weeks later, our students had 6 apps in the top 100 </li></ul></ul>
  28. 29. Learnings from Stanford's FB Course <ul><li>#2. Simplicity & clarity are key to app success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apps need to be easily understood (value prop) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apps need to be easy to use </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The wrong direction: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clever names </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of features </li></ul></ul>
  29. 30. Learnings from Stanford's FB Course <ul><li>#3. Speed & flexibility in launch & iterations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many crummy trials beat deep thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexibility beats quality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Deadly: Getting too attached to one app idea. </li></ul>
  30. 31. Learnings from Stanford's FB Course <ul><li>#4. Community cooperation leads to success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students helped others a lot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing code, tips, insights . . . all were present in course. </li></ul></ul>
  31. 32. Learnings from Stanford's FB Course <ul><li>#5. Individual opinions about app are worthless </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't be swayed by one person's opinion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Just get the app out there and see what happens . . . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Despite everyone's supposed &quot;brilliance&quot; . . . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often what seemed like a killer idea didn't work. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes what seemed stupid worked very well. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 33. Learnings from Stanford's FB Course <ul><li>#6. Copying success is a cheap/fast way to succeed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Novelty isn't the best approach to apps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you're desperate for a win, just copy something that's working </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Flipside: If your app is doing well, expect imitators. </li></ul>
  33. 34. Learnings from Stanford's FB Course <ul><li>#7. Metrics do matter, but today's tools are too weak </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Of course, instrument your apps to track viral aspects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No one offers a winning metrics package (yet) -- not even GA </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Our experience: Students often had to tweak GA and also create their own metrics tools. </li></ul>
  34. 35. Learnings from Stanford's FB Course <ul><li>#8. You CAN learn to create a winning app </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Success with FB apps isn't luck or magic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many Stanford teams succeeded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teams who failed at first later created great apps (like Oregon Trail) </li></ul></ul>
  35. 36. The Future of Social Networks?
  36. 37. Where We’re Headed Next… <ul><li>Multiple Platforms </li></ul><ul><li>More Social Apps </li></ul><ul><li>Niche Platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Better Analytics </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Monetization? </li></ul><ul><li>Data Portability </li></ul><ul><li>The Rest of the Web Gets Social </li></ul><ul><li>Social Commerce? </li></ul>
  37. 38. End

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