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Aaron is the CEO and co-founder of Taplytics, a mobile optimization platform that empowers the world's best apps to become even better. Companies such as CBS, Ticketmaster, Dollar Shave Club, and The Economist are partnering with Taplytics to create amazing mobile experiences.  

Prior to Taplytics, Aaron was a Strategy Consultant, and co-founded an earlier startup in the online and mobile space. However, as they tried to build their own apps, nobody on the team could agree on the best course of action. This sparked an idea: why not let the users choose what they liked, and iterate based on data? 

In the past four years,  Aaron helped grow Taplytics from a couple of friends in a basement to a Y-Combinator backed powerhouse that now works with several Fortune 500 brands. 

Aaron now resides in Toronto, and contributes to the expanding tech scene in Canada while giving back to the YC community as an advisor. He’s happy to discuss anything ranging from mobile growth/analytics and start-up management to San Francisco pizza joints. Ask away!

You can follow him on Twitter: @aaronglazer

He will be live on August 10 starting at 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which he will answer as many questions as possible.

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    4 months ago #

    Hi Aaron, very excited to have you here today.

    1. Does Taplytics have a growth team?
    If yes, how is it structured (ie who's on it and where does it belong organizationally)?
    If not, why not?

    2. What is Taplytics North Star Metric?
    What did you do to be able to rally the entire organization around this metric?

    • AG

      Aaron Glazer

      4 months ago #

      Thanks, Dani! I’m excited to be here as well!

      1. As a product focused company, we look at growth as a cross-functional priority that everyone has to be a part of. As a result, our marketing team works very closely with the product team to make sure we’re building growth first through a great product that our users love, and then telling the world about it!

      • AG

        Aaron Glazer

        4 months ago #

        2. The most important metric that we use as our North Star is growth, which I view as a function of the amount of value we create for our clients. In some cases, this can be defined by the revenue we’ve helped our clients generate. In other cases, it can be the efficiency we’ve delivered to our clients through cost savings. If we’re continuing to deliver a minimum 10X value year after year, it means we’re continuing to innovate and be a net positive ROI for our clients.

        Going through YC, growth was instilled in us as founders early on, and as we’ve grown the company, we make that part of our recruiting and onboarding process to ensure that everyone is always thinking about always thinking about Customer Value as the means for driving consistent growth.

        3 Share
      • DH

        Dani Hart

        4 months ago #

        Love it!
        re: function of the amount of value we create for our clients. Whether its revenue generated or efficiency delivered - can you talk more about how you are able to quantify that for your clients?

      • AG

        Aaron Glazer

        4 months ago #

        As a follow-up to Dani:

        I think any B2B business generally quantifies value in one of three ways:

        - How do we help the customer generate more revenue
        - How do we help the customer be more efficient and reduce operational costs
        - How do we help the customer reduce potential business risks

        We work with each customer to determine what their specific desired outcome is in partnering with us, and from there we focus our efforts on optimizing for this metric!

  • JP

    John Phamvan

    4 months ago #

    Hey Aaron,
    How did Taplytics get its first 100 customers?

    • AG

      Aaron Glazer

      4 months ago #

      Hi John!

      We originally built Taplytics for ourselves, so we were customer #1 😃 . The rest of the first 100 customers were other mobile app developers like ourselves that felt the same pain points as us.

      Similar to the Stripe story of sitting down at other people’s laptops and installing Stripe for them, our first 100 were pretty hands on, which let us constantly talk to our customers and iterate rapidly.

      • JP

        John Phamvan

        4 months ago #

        Awesome! A quick follow- up - How/where did you find these app developers?

      • AG

        Aaron Glazer

        4 months ago #

        We did everything we could to meet more like-minded people. We went to tons of tech meetups, spent an inordinate amount of time on Reddit (still do, Alexis!), and looked at a ton of questions on Stack Overflow and Github to connect with devs there.

  • MV

    Maja Voje

    4 months ago #

    Hey Aaron, thanks for doing this :D
    How should app developer and marketers prepare for iOS11? What will no longer work and what are the actions that we should take TODAY to get our apps ready for iOS11. Many thanks. I look forward to your answer a lot.

    • AG

      Aaron Glazer

      4 months ago #

      Hey Maja! Congrats on the most upvoted question :)

      At a high level, the main change with iOS11 is the design paradigm - it’s quite similar to the change away from skeuomorphism that we saw between iOS 6 and iOS 7. For developers and marketers, not adapting to the new design methodology may leave you with an app that looks “old” or outdated. My recommended first step would be to start identifying which parts of your app are most at risk of feeling “tired,” and planning redesigns for it into your release roadmap. For most apps, these changes may potentially put revenue or other key metrics at risk - make sure to A/B test and keep changes incremental so you don’t outthink your users!

      For some more background on the design changes, this is a good resource: https://www.macrumors.com/roundup/ios-11/#design_changes

      3 Share
      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        4 months ago #

        This is a great resource.
        Are there other design resources that you would recommend for us to keep up with what's new with all things (app) design?

      • MV

        Maja Voje

        4 months ago #

        Thanks a million! You provided a very insightful answer. The things that I am the most anxious about are the highlighted total reviews and the new limitation that we can only ask for a review/ratings 3x a year. Do your clients apply any specific test to find the best moments to review the app? Of course, we are all familiar with "after the wow moment" theory, but I am really wondering if there are some best practices how to make sure that we make the best use out of review request. Again, thank you so much!

      • AG

        Aaron Glazer

        4 months ago #

        Follow up to Anuj's question:

        Two really great resources are: http://www.gv.com/sprint/ and https://www.designbetter.co. In addition, I think it’s important to get to know your primary medium as well (if not better) than any of your users so you don’t have to rely on third parties for changes.

        And don’t be afraid to go beta 😃 https://beta.apple.com

  • GH

    Glen Harper

    4 months ago #

    Thank you for joining us today, Aaron.

    Should entrepreneurs looking to bootstrap sometimes create mobile friendly sites/web apps instead of forking out for full mobile solutions? How should they decide which is the right way to go at that early stage?

    • AG

      Aaron Glazer

      4 months ago #

      Hey Glen, glad to be here.

      I think the answer really depends on the core nature of your business and what problem you’re solving in the market. If for example, you’re building enterprise software to make a 10x improvement on a broken inefficient workflow, maybe you choose to build the mobile app after you’ve gotten some initial traction and really proven some initial use cases. On the other hand, if you’re creating a better consumer purchasing experience that caters to millennials, maybe having a phenomenal mobile experience is part of your core value proposition. I don’t think there is any “right way” other than to really know your market and ultimately your users. The faster you can learn to figure that out, the better equipped you’ll be in making business decisions that drive growth.

  • TN

    Tri Nguyen

    4 months ago #

    Hey Aaron - this is an intentionally broad question - where do you see mobile going in the next 5 years?

    • AG

      Aaron Glazer

      4 months ago #

      Hey Tri,

      So tough to say in the macro sense, but I think on a micro level the attributes that make it so special are going to be amplified.

      - Personal
      - Always with you
      - Making every part of your day easier and more special

      The emergence and impact of other cool technologies (like voice or AI) will also likely play a big part in the direction and way consumers use mobile.

  • MD

    Mark Anthony de Jesus

    4 months ago #

    Can you share an experiment that you ran (perhaps using Taplytics :)) that was a big win for you?

  • DO

    Danielle Olivas

    4 months ago #

    Can you point to a startup/company of whose mobile app growth you've been really impressed by?
    Why do you think they've been so successful?
    What are they doing that others are not (or aren't doing as well)?

  • JD

    James Dunn

    4 months ago #

    It makes sense for people to consider having Taplytics as part of their growth stack.
    What does Taplytics use as part of its growth/marketing/conversion/analytics stack? :)

    • AG

      Aaron Glazer

      4 months ago #

      Thanks! We agree too! 😉

      As a product company, we use a combination of in-house tools that our team has developed, with a large portion of it being Taplytics itself. We’re definitely also big fans of Drift and Autopilot!

      One area that I want to touch on that often gets overlooked in discussing ‘growth stacks’ is people. In my opinion, the key to building a phenomenal growth stack starts with really tenacious people that have the gumption to just figure things out because growth is constantly evolving. The best growth stacks are centered around insanely creative and driven people, and I really believe we have a few of the industry’s best on our team 😃

      2 Share
  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    4 months ago #

    Hi Aaron- 🙏🏻 for doing this AMA.

    What's your favorite pizza joint in SF?

    Merci!

    • AG

      Aaron Glazer

      4 months ago #

      Hey Arsene, no problem! Always happy to talk about pizza.

      Hands down, Una Pizza Napoletana. It’s such a great example of focus and execution leading to a spectacular result.

      Try the Ilaria 😃

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    4 months ago #

    Hey Aaron - very cool to finally have you on!

    a.I'm interested in what tests you'll ran to arrive at the two CTAs on your home page (ie Try Us Out and Request A Demo) vs just one of them? I'm asking because normally you see only one or the other on the home page (you may see the other on a different page at times).
    b. Related to that, I'm interested in why you'll picked "Try Us Out" vs "Learn More" to be the one of those two CTAs (and have "Try Us Out" be secondary a CTA lower down on the page after people have learned more)?

    • AG

      Aaron Glazer

      4 months ago #

      Anuj, thanks for setting this up!

      a) We wanted to cater towards everyone coming onto the website and found that having two CTAs on our home page actually increased conversions for both options. A lot of engineers that visit want to dive right into the product through our trial, so having the button right there led to more account sign-ups. Product managers or marketers from large enterprises usually wanted to have a demo first, so they had easy access to our demo sign-up as well. Looking at our data and target market helped pinpoint our best variation!

      • AG

        Aaron Glazer

        4 months ago #

        b) We definitely played around with both versions, such as having “Learn More” above “Try Us Out.” Ultimately, placing the “Try Us Out” CTA at the top allowed people to get into the platform more quickly and learn by doing. Putting “Learn More” first would lead to users exploring the site but dropping off before making an account. Our solution is a lot more sticky once customers have played around with it, so leading people into account sign-up was the best way to go.

  • JF

    Javier Feldman

    4 months ago #

    What metrics do you look at to consider a Taplytics user activated? What strategies have you found to work best to increase your activation rate?

  • SK

    S Kodial

    4 months ago #

    What is Taplytics biggest growth challenge currently?
    How are you (thinking of) tackling this?

    • AG

      Aaron Glazer

      4 months ago #

      I answered this in a previous question, but I view growth as a function of the value we create for our clients. As a result, the biggest challenge is making sure we’re constantly shipping and innovating as a company. Beyond short term vanity metrics, the best companies in the world find ways to innovate, delivering more and more value to their clients. I look at Netflix or Amazon and see the amazing things that they’re doing, and I see the big challenge in front of us being one of prioritization. How do we prioritize what to build next based on our view of the future?

      Tackling this is basically talking to customers and users. I make it a point to talk to 10 customers who I view as real innovators in the space every week.

      3 Share
  • RG

    Rana gq

    4 months ago #

    How would you grow a job listing site - specifically attract more employers to increase # of job listings on it?

    • AG

      Aaron Glazer

      4 months ago #

      Hi Rana!

      Off the top of my head, if you're in early days - I'd just suggest going to the employers directly and sharing the value of what they’ll be getting through posting listings on your site. This could literally be the specific niche you might be targeting, access to a specific type of talent or whatever your unique value proposition is as a job listing site. I'm a big believer in doing things that don't scale; use the employers and logos that you've had to hustle to get, to then help you get the next set of employers to increase your listings.

  • ES

    Erik Sandberg

    4 months ago #

    Hi Aaron - I'm a growth hacker in the past who has only used 'gated content' to grow sign-ups and subscribers for media platforms, is this style of hacking outdated and which/what are the current growth hacking trends to look out for?

    • AG

      Aaron Glazer

      4 months ago #

      Hi Erik - I don't know if "outdated" is the right word, but we do definitely need to be more selective with where we put paywalls. The key here would be to create amazing, targeted content instead of always monetizing it because readers will automatically come back for more. Overall, I think it definitely depends on the type of content (B2B is quite different from B2C journalism) but the focus should always be on creating value.

      2 Share
  • PD

    Porus Daruvala

    4 months ago #

    What is the best advice you you received from someone? What's something you learned the hard way?

    • AG

      Aaron Glazer

      4 months ago #

      Hey Porus!

      Best advice → In a world where there is so much startup advice floating around and being freely given, the best advice I ever received, was to be very selective on whom I take advice from. ;)

      Lesson learned the hard way → Focus all your energy on what matters most. It’s so easy to get distracted by what may seem important, and not understanding what actually is can leave you without the time and ability to finish what you wanted to do.

      3 Share
      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        4 months ago #

        "be very selective on whom I take advice from" - wish I could upvote that 1000 times.

  • AG

    Aaron Glazer

    4 months ago #

    Thanks everyone for participating and asking great, thought-provoking questions! Will get around to answering the rest of the Qs soon.

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