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I am the founder and CEO of Woodridge Growth. We help drive growth for companies like Jet.com, FanDuel, and more. I try to share things here that have helped me get better.

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Choice Paradox: How Removing Choices Increases Online Sales

Successful marketers influence the market to take action. If you are driving sales online, you need to help your target audience make choices. This is marketing. But when marketers focus on this, we are choice architects.
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The Formula To Success Explained In 12 Words

Staying on theme with my plan to post things that have helped me in my life and career is this gem from Charlie Munger.

It is essentially the formula for success.

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How To Build Wealth, Knowledge & An Enduring Business

Note to self: If you are going to publish anything on your blog, make sure it is something that someone else can benefit from. Also, don’t end sentences in prepositions.
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Airbnb Startup Fundraising Pitch Deck

The 10-Step Formula Startup Founders Use To Pitch Investors

The best tech startups build great products that solve real problems. These startups are also excellent at communicating the value of their products, both to investors and their target market.

Communicating the value to investors, specifically in your pitch deck, is crucial. The problem is making a pitch deck is one of the most frustrating processes on the planet, even if you like doing it. Having a communication formula will save you a lot of time.

One of the most successful startups of all time is Airbnb. Pitchenvy features the Airbnb pitch deck. The formula Airbnb uses to make their case can be applied to a variety of situations where you need to be persuasive. It goes like this:

1. Identify the problem.
This is where you make your audience care. Why should investors in the crowd want to pay attention to the rest of your presentation? This slide is easy if you build a product that solves a real problem. It sounds logical, but you’d be amazed how often it is done in reverse-order i.e. products get built, then the pitch wastes time trying to convince the audience that there is a problem.

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How To Make An App People Love

The foundation of any marketing strategy should be a deep understanding of your customers. If you don’t like people, you will probably have a tough time coming up with a great app that people will love.

Amazon began with a mission to be the most customer-centric company on the planet. Customer centric companies identify their most valuable customers, develop a deep understanding of their wants and needs, and develop products and services for them.

How does a company like Amazon, that releases hundreds of new products every year, stay customer centric?

A couple months ago I read an article offered insight into Amazon’s product development process. What struck me was what Austin Carr (@AustinCarr) revealed about Amazon’s internal approach to product development. I thought that was really, really cool.

Bezos requires employees to write these pretend press releases before work begins on a new initiative. The point is to help them refine their ideas and distill their goals with the customer in mind.

Yesterday, Jillian D’Onfro (@jillianiles) published an article that confirmed this detail about Amazon development process via Amazon Web Services SVP Andy Jassy. Amazon Web Services (AWS) produced over 500 products in 2014 alone:

Before Amazon developers write a single line of code, they have to write the hypothetical product’s press release and FAQ announcement. Amazon uses this “working backwards” approach because it forces the team to get the most difficult discussions out of the way early […] They need to fully understand what the product’s value proposition will be and how it will be pitched to customers. If the team can’t come up with a compelling press release, the product probably isn’t worth making.

The working-backwards approach helps Amazon stay true to their mission of being customer-centric. But there are other reasons to take a backwards approach. Backwards thinking is a mental model that dates back to Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi:

Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi, the German mathematician said, “invert, always invert” recommending that “many hard problems are best solved when they are addressed backward.” This model is one of the most powerful thinking habits we can adopt. “Indeed,” says Charlie Munger, “many problems can’t be solved forward.”

Thinking backwards helps you avoid stupidity. Putting customers first is smart.

CPLU Money

Brands Are Paying 345% Too Much For Loyal App Users

How do you determine if you are marketing your mobile app the right way?

Metrics matter, but some matter more than others. Cost per loyal user (CPLU) is an app marketing metric that deserves attention. While most marketers focus on cost per install (CPI), CPLU is a better indicator of your app marketing performance.

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App Store Optimization writers on Quora

Who Is The Most Credible Authority On App Store Optimization?

Today I logged-in to Quora and saw that I am the #1 most viewed writer for App Store Optimization. Of course, this was fantastic for my ego. I have since instructed everyone I know to not make eye contact when they talk to me.

In all seriousness, this brings up a bigger point about product. In order for Quora to be great, they need a steady flow of credible people answering questions. That’s hard to accomplish. After all, what’s in it for people who answer?

What motivates your users?

Mahalo, a question and answer site, launched almost 10 years ago. They offered an incentive to get people to ask and answer the questions. Although the incentive helped Mahalo grow an audience of 14.1 million unique monthly users, it ultimately failed. Why?  Read More →

WhenToGram on the App Store

Our Instagram App is Now #2 on the Social Networking Charts

I have had the pleasure of directing the marketing and acquisition for some great mobile apps. Recently I have been focusing on WhenToGram. Right now WhenToGram is the #2 paid app on the Social Networking charts. Thank you!

 

Mobile App Retention

The Aha Moment: The Key to Improving Mobile App Retention

If you have a mobile app, you know the importance of app retention. What is the best way to improve app retention? It begins with finding the ‘Aha’ moment of your mobile app. This post explains.

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