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Fireside Chat: Back to Basics - How Our Obsession with Metrics is Stifling Innovation

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Andy Johns
Partner at Unusual Ventures
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Global Growth Marketing Conference 2019
December 10, 2019, San Francisco, USA
Global Growth Marketing Conference 2019
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Fireside Chat: Back to Basics - How Our Obsession with Metrics is Stifling Innovation
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About speakers

Andy Johns
Partner at Unusual Ventures
Melinda Byerley
Founder at TimeShareCMO

formerly at Facebook, Twitter, Quora, & WealthfrontAndy Johns is a Partner at Unusual Ventures, leading and building its consumer portfolio. Prior to Unusual, he spent 15 years working at consumer startups, including Facebook, Twitter, Quora, and Wealthfront, where he was president. Through his experience, he became an expert in consumer growth and engagement, building first-rate product experiences, and company building. According to Andy, it’s always been about the journey for him— that’s why he joined as one of the first 20 employees at both Quora and Wealthfront despite having the prior fortune of being on two rocket ships with Facebook and Twitter. In his words, “There’s nothing more satisfying than serendipitously meeting a stranger in another part of the world and finding out they are passionate users of a product I helped build.

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Melinda Byerley is a serial entrepreneur and pioneer of growth marketing in Silicon Valley. For almost twenty years she has held B2B and B2C marketing and e-commerce leadership roles at companies such as eBay, PayPal, Linden Lab(Second Life), Checkpoint Software, Poll Everywhere, and PlantSense (sold to Parrot). In 2014, Melinda founded Timeshare CMO, one of the first location-independent digital marketing consultancies. Working with clients such as DVD Netflix, GitHub, Stack Overflow, Woodruff-Sawyer, Launch Darkly, Peerlyst, and more; Timeshare CMO helps companies of all sizes build heroic digital marketing teams that get measurable business results. Melinda is an in-demand storyteller and speaker who has keynoted the Social Media Strategies Summit, led panels on digital marketing analytics and B2B content at the Growth Marketing Conference; been a contributor to VentureBeat, GrowthHackers.com, and The Growth Marketing Conference blog; created viral posts on Silicon Valley culture for Medium and LinkedIn; and built a popular and feisty Twitter presence. A top-rated, frequent guest lecturer at Cornell University’s traditional MBA program and its Tech MBA program in New York City, Melinda has also been a guest speaker for Babson College’s summer technology program and hosts “Stayin’ Alive in Tech,” a podcast celebrating the oral history of technology, featuring guests such as Tom Peters, Jim Sterne, Rand Fishkin, and Avinash Kaushik.

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About the talk

Track: Keynotes

Metrics are good, right? Not when they get in the way of developing truly innovative products. Andy Johns, Partner at Unusual Ventures and a growth leader at Facebook, Twitter, Quora and Wealthfront; believes today's startups are in danger due to a metrics obsession. Melinda Byerley, the founder of Timeshare CMO and host of the Stayin' Alive in Tech Podcast, joins Andy to discuss how to measure less and innovate more.

00:07 Introduction of Jon Miller

03:09 How marketing changed through the years?

06:11 Big shift in measurement of marketing

07:33 The future of B2B

15:47 What does marketing have to do to equip sales?

19:35 How to measure your ABM in 2020?

23:07 One phrase to stop using in B2B

23:50 Biggest mistakes marketers will make next year

24:27 Is a tiered approach a good way of prioritizing?

25:03 Q&A

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I have 30 minutes to get all of your knowledge to this audience. 00:05 So any I don't know if you remember this. 00:10 But when I first met you and interviewed you for the article on growth hacking for VentureBeat in 2015. 00:12 I described you like this. 00:17 He speaks with the cadence of someone experienced in patient husband in cash crops to market. 00:20 He is preternatural e-com. 00:26 Disciplined a numbers-oriented data scientist. 00:28 So just yesterday on Twitter. 00:32

You said you were now advising startups not to hire a growth team. 00:34 You do know you're at the growth conference right, 00:38 I do. 00:41 Yeah, so how does that numbers-oriented data scientist that I talked to in 2015 come to believe here in 2019? 00:41 Let's start option higher growth good questions so. 00:48 I think the short answer is I arrive thereby coming full circle in my career. 00:52 Uh at the I was fortunate to be a member of the early growth team at Facebook. 00:57

And then I built around the growth team at Twitter. 01:03 And eventually went on to Cora and the common characteristic between all three of those businesses that their network effects business. 01:06 And the role of a growing team within network effects. 01:14 Business is essential is effective. 01:18 The thing that you're working on is optimizing. 01:21 A few of the variables that drive the network effect. 01:24

And so if I make a 10 or 20% 01:27 improvement to one of those key variables. 01:29 It has an exponential impact or compounding impact on the outcome of the business. 01:33 Now I left the world of social after those 3 companies and said I'm done with this. 01:38 I don't want to work on it. 01:43 Auto sharing anymore done enough of that attacking her brains just done with it, 01:44 yeah, and I was exploring what I wanted to work on next. 01:50

I knew what it wanted I wanted to work on something that would have humanity scale impact or the potential for it. 01:55

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