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In Search of the Ultimate Product Analytics Playbook

Over the past two decades, I’ve ventured through the entrepreneurial landscape, serving as a CTO and Interim CTO for five distinct companies, and offering advisory roles to a few others. Through it all, one consistent challenge has stood out: product analytics. It has always been a headache, consuming more hours than I’d care to admit.

In my journey, I’ve experienced the dynamics of both small and large teams. When starting out and the teams were small, the responsibility of product analytics invariably landed on my desk. As our operations expanded, we onboarded professionals to ease the load – initially business analysts, and then a mix of seasoned analysts and data engineers. Yet, despite these additions, navigating the analytics terrain remained a challenging, costly endeavor, often falling short of perfect execution.

Beginning a venture with limited funds often brings its unique set of challenges. One of the primary dilemmas is resource allocation. It’s tough to justify hiring analysts when the immediate need revolves around either developing or selling the product. However, understanding the product’s usage is paramount; it feeds into critical decision-making processes. A common misconception is that every bit of data is already tracked, just waiting to be queried. Many assume that any developer with database access can instantly provide answers to questions like, “How many users who signed up in March are still using the product weekly?” But in reality, it’s rarely that straightforward.

I completely grasp the complexities behind analytics, but I’ve always been hesitant about pouring substantial resources into it. Whether it’s shelling out for premium tools or hiring specialists, it’s been a tough call. So, more often than not, I find myself dedicating a ton of my own time to get the insights we need.

Throughout the years, I’ve been on a continuous quest to refine my analytics approach. I’ve tested various tools, delved into numerous books and blog articles, and gained insights from some truly brilliant minds in the field. While I’ve also made my share of missteps, it’s clear to me that things are gradually becoming more manageable. Yet, there’s still this lingering challenge. I can’t shake the feeling that many of the routine aspects of analytics could be streamlined further.

I’m confident that the insights I’ve gathered over the years could spare many startups from the pitfalls I’ve encountered. At the same time, I’m ever-curious and believe there’s a wealth of knowledge out there that can further hone my expertise and take me forward.

We’re navigating through some truly fascinating times in the tech world. The landscape is teeming with groundbreaking tools and advancements. Among these, the potential of AI in revolutionizing the field of analytics stands out. I’m eagerly watching its progression, curious about how it’ll mesh with what we know and perhaps transform our established methods.

I’m eager to dive deeper into this realm. Connecting with fellow entrepreneurs, CTOs, product experts, and business analysts is high on my agenda. There’s so much value in understanding best practices and swapping ideas. As I journey through, you can expect to see my thoughts and learnings shared on Twitter, my blog, and other platforms. It’s a way for me to both seek insightful feedback and contribute back to our vibrant community.

Seasoned developers, especially those indie hackers who’ve crafted multiple apps, often have their go-to templates. These are typically skeleton apps filled with essential functions, integrations to services like Stripe, marketing automation tools, and embody proven workflows. I’m inspired to create something similar, but with a focus on product analytics. Over the years, I’ve developed systems and methods that I’ve recycled across projects. With some refinement and expert feedback, I believe there’s potential to mold these into a valuable resource for others. Naturally, a product analytics template would center less on code and more on best practices and tool utilization.

If you share an interest in this domain and are keen on swapping ideas, I’d love to connect. Please reach out!