Discover more from The Product-Led Geek
Minute Monday 11: Defining activation with scarce data
I’m often asked how to go about defining an activation metric.
Activation is the process that takes a user (or team in B2B) from sign-up to establishing a habit around using your product.
It’s a multi-step process that in B2B might have multiple participants.
Ultimately the final activation milestone, also known as the habit moment, should be predictive of increased mid to long term usage retention.
With an ample volume of historical data to hand, it becomes relatively straightforward to run regressions to correlate product milestone signals with retention.
You’ll then typically run experiments to prove causation.
But what happens when data is scarce?
Volume is low. History is short.
You follow the same initial steps as you would when you have sufficient data.
Even with data, to focus your analysis, you want some hypotheses about the core value of your product.
What is the natural pull that keeps users and teams coming back?
Find out what it is that makes everything click for them.
Speak with them.
Assess what’s stopping users/teams from getting to the value.
Make it easier for them.
At some point in doing that, a meaningful hypothesis for a definition of activation will start to become clear.
But when you’re early, it’s a trap to obsess about the quantitative side of growth.
Just focus on being close to your users.
Remember, activation should be something you periodically revisit anyway - even more frequently with early-stage companies, as the product will be evolving much more rapidly.