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Ten Million in Ten Weeks: What Stanford Learned Building Facebook Apps

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slide1

10 Million in 10 WeeksWhat Stanford Learned Building Facebook AppsA Stanford Course during Fall 2007

Dave McClureRob FanGraphing Social Patterns: March 2008

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

slide2

10 Million in 10 WeeksTotal Installed Users: 20M+

    • 5 apps @ 1M+ users
    • 10 apps @ 100k users
    • 20 apps @ 5k users
  • Total Daily Active Users (DAU):  925k6 apps with ~ 100k DAU10 apps with > 10k DAU19 apps with > 500 DAU6 Apps in Facebook Top 100Top Apps (according to Adonomics): ~ $10M

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

slide5

Curriculum (Alpha Version)

3 Apps  (!)

1.  Virality2.  Engagement3.  Education-focused

  • Hoping to leverage . . .
    • Huge reading list
    • Metrics-based grading
    • Psychology of technology

Expecting 20-40 students...

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

120 showed up

...120 showed up

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

slide7

...So we scared some students off.

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

7 person teaching team 73 students

7 person teaching team73 students

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

every class was exciting and surprising

Every class was exciting and surprising

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

students drove us forward

Students drove us forward

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

initial success

Initial Success!!!

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

success stories

Success Stories

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

students come together outside of class

Students come together outside of class...

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

slide19

10 Million in 10 WeeksTotal Installed Users: 20M+

    • 5 apps @ 1M+ users
    • 10 apps @ 100k users
    • 20 apps @ 5k users
  • Total Daily Active Users (DAU):  925k6 apps with ~ 100k DAU10 apps with > 10k DAU19 apps with > 500 DAU5 Apps in Facebook Top 100Top Apps (according to Adonomics): ~ $10M

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

final expo in december 2007 500 people show up

Final Expo in December 2007500+ people show up

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

baychi student presentation

BayCHI Student Presentation

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

slide26

Aftermath

    •  $500,000 - $1,000,000+ revenue generated since September
    • At least 3 companies formed
    • At least 2 companies acquired
    • More job offers than students can handle
    • Dan drops out of school to work with Rob and 3 other students from the class
    • Teach the class again soon

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

slide27

More Successes

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

learnings from stanford s fb course
Learnings from Stanford's FB Course

#1. It's never too late to create a winning app

  • When we launched course, over 6000 Facebook apps existed.
  • 10 weeks later, our students had 6 apps in the top 100

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

learnings from stanford s fb course29
Learnings from Stanford's FB Course

#2. Simplicity & clarity are key to app success

  • Apps need to be easily understood (value prop)
  • Apps need to be easy to use

The wrong direction:

  • Clever names
  • Lots of features

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

learnings from stanford s fb course30
Learnings from Stanford's FB Course

#3. Speed & flexibility in launch & iterations

  • Many crummy trials beat deep thinking
  • Flexibility beats quality

Deadly: Getting too attached to one app idea.

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

learnings from stanford s fb course31
Learnings from Stanford's FB Course

#4. Community cooperation leads to success

  • Students helped others a lot
  • Sharing code, tips, insights . . . all were present in course.

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

learnings from stanford s fb course32
Learnings from Stanford's FB Course

#5. Individual opinions about app are worthless

  • Don't be swayed by one person's opinion.
  • Just get the app out there and see what happens . . .

Despite everyone's supposed "brilliance" . . .

  • Often what seemed like a killer idea didn't work.
  • Sometimes what seemed stupid worked very well.

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

learnings from stanford s fb course33
Learnings from Stanford's FB Course

#6. Copying success is a cheap/fast way to succeed

  • Novelty isn't the best approach to apps
  • If you're desperate for a win, just copy something that's working

Flipside: If your app is doing well, expect imitators.

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

learnings from stanford s fb course34
Learnings from Stanford's FB Course

#7. Metrics do matter, but today's tools are too weak

  • Of course, instrument your apps to track viral aspects
  • No one offers a winning metrics package (yet) -- not even GA

Our experience: Students often had to tweak GA and also create their own metrics tools.

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

learnings from stanford s fb course35
Learnings from Stanford's FB Course

#8. You CAN learn to create a winning app

  • Success with FB apps isn't luck or magic
  • Many Stanford teams succeeded
  • Teams who failed at first later created excellent apps (like Oregon Trail)

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu

slide36

10 Million in 10 WeeksWhat Stanford Learned Building Facebook AppsA Stanford Course during Fall 2007

Dave McClureRob Fan

Contact: BJ Fogg - bjfogg@stanford.edu