Zingography # 13 : Cognitive Behaviour + Data Science ; AB Test Validation Tool

I have been really fascinated by the capability of AB Testing Tool to make Designing Decisions using Data Science.
If you combine Machine Learning & Statistical Science to the same – then Previous Combo becomes more Potent & Effective.

AB Testing can be a tough Art to Master, even the most experienced ones go wrong all the time with their hypothesis & metrics selection.
Hence accepting your own & your colleagues varying opinions + navigating through the same to get most effective Long Term Impacts is they Key for Success.
But one should be honest to the science of AB Testing & how it is designed even if results are not favourable – it’s like a daily routine that should be practiced as it is.

What am here to discuss is the New Art of combining “Cognitive Design Behaviour with Data Science Algorithms” and especially use Spotify’s Playlist Recommendation for the same.

My Current Research Analysis says that Spotify’s Recommendation Engine is one of the best in this space!

Yeah better than Apple‘s iTunes, Alibaba‘s + Amazon’s Return HomePage Pages Recommendations or Similar SKU suggestions, Google‘s Search Engine or Google News Feed, Netflix‘s Similar Shows Features. What makes Spotify shine here is how it has used the Music Preferences Attributes along with Human Emotion Capture Calculations ! They use a unique score assigned to each song preferences & suggest them if your attributes matches the range of moods/preferences! Also their Engine is constantly improving & updating based on bigger cluster preferences. What I appreciate is that they are not using Other Platforms similar data but trusting self engines to contribute. Secondly, it empowers the customers to play with the algorithm to change preferences.

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As per further search, AB Testing plays a very important role in making below decisions:

  • UI Decisions : Button Shape, Contrast colour, Position, Text, Headline, Icons (+ vs Heart), Widget Decisions, Hamburger Menu
  • Page Format – list view vs card view, the information architecture, number of information shared in a single page view
  • Metrics selection & Order Prioritisation for Making recommendations of Playlist
  • Deciding the Weightage of different Key Factors for engine’s Logic – which is the Highlight of Spotify’s Success!

  • Localising + Personalising the Site : https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/success-stories/how-spotify-increased-premium-subscriptions-using-google-optimize-360/
  • Optimising the Keywords Search : When users in Germany searched for “audiobook” and clicked on one of Spotify’s ads, they were either brought to the custom page or to the original page.
  • Creating Culture of Experimentation & Real Time AB Testing Result platform which is most crucial. (They were earlier using Google’s Optimizely for a long time)

Did I ever share the perfect method of conducting an AB Test Experiment :

  1. Define the Problem – To increase conversion, to increase revenue
  2. Come up with a series of ideas to work around the same basis historical data, recent findings, industry insights – This should be a collective + collaborative process wherein everyone should be heard & allowed to explain their logic. Also while prospecting, one has to think about the impact % on success metrics with what confidence, duration, sample size.  Do not hesitate to use AB Testing calculator for same.
  3. Finally one has to prioritise these ideas basis their impact, time + effort + cost and decide on the order of these tests
  4. While designing the test – decide the Hypothesis that by doing so & so the impact shall increase. What is important to note is that while choosing these tests – they have to be such that can be proven only by data results. Also for tests with drastically different options – it can be a short duration test while for closer options, sample size hence duration has to be longer.
  5. So Hypothesis, success metric, options selection are very crucial aspects of the test
  6. Keep observing the performance of key metrics (Primary, Secondary at least) during the tests – no need to take sudden decisions basis this but observe the pattern.
  7. Let the test complete & observe the results – if results are drastically different, you have a clear winner. If test results are negative (do not worry), try with a different hypothesis & options. If test results are closer then decide whether to increase sample size or to discard the test or to go ahead with partial winner (last one not recommended but call can be taken depending on experience/circumstance/influence of other tests).
  8. Keep doing the same for different cases
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New Interests Findings & Relevance

  • Russian Philosophy – How Capitalism & Socialism Thoughts evolved during Cold War & shaped the world. How China kept its Communism intact

Leninism vs Marxism vs Stalinism vs Communism and its after impacts.
My PM Learnings : How the limit of human thought-processes was explored way back & even put into practice – resulting in new ideologies. How different ideas might create excitement & perspectives at the particular time but ultimately the one which is most resilient & inclusive of people with self absorption & growth scope results into longevity.

  • Quantum Physics linked to Spiritualism – Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein

How the infinity unites one & that leads to the discovery of yourself w.r.t. the universe is Beautiful!
My PM Learnings : To have a LARGER THAN LIFE VIEW TOWARDS our daily usage of Products.

  • Ancient Scriptures linked to Neuroscience & Psychology – 

My PM Learnings : How it is possible to explore the amazing transient models plus it has already been explored in depth of research. If one can be a good student & learn to adapt to different times as a customised solution – it can result into something Great!

  • Cognitive Science Linked to Design Models & Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning involving Cryptography/Coding/Rubiks Cube

My PM Learnings : How different perspectives can lead to some unique models for consumer thought process mapping using basic thoughts. Here’s one list of such principles :  https://fs.blog/general-thinking-concepts/

  • Animation : There are different types like 2D, 3D (which is most popular with CUG, etc.), Whiteboard, Stop Motion (My Fav), Cutout, Sand, FlipBook, 

My PM Learnings : How to use different perspectives of people into creating different illusions & visualisations

  • Drone Photography : Different places where it has been used to shoot a completely new perspective!

My PM Learnings : To think out of box & how same stuff can look so different!

  • Luxury Behavioural science with Globalisation playing an important Role

My PM Learnings : It’s important to understand how people from a different Geo-Political- Social Background can have a completely different take on expectation of services & offerings.

  • Origin of Human Race (Sapiens) – Initiated to Central Asia & how spread to Eurasia regions! How Civilisations Kicked Off? How GOT is linked 

My PM Learnings : Its so important to know the history behind your product & idea so as to do complete justice to the same.

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Zingography 11 : Cognitive Abilities in PM

Cognitive Science involves linguistics, psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience and anthropology. My learning & experience says that if we are able to include Cognitive Science into our Product Management Process – they results shall be much more refined, Long term & closest to objective.

Cognitive Science has to include multiple stakeholders views from :

  • Customers perspective
  • Team management perspective
  • Leadership & changing Business Landscape perspective

Am quite sure of developing successful models around the same for different PM Cycle stages & this is my effort for the same.

Below are the key PM Stages & recommended Models for the same :

  1. Business Strategy Roadmap based on Market Research & Secondary Research Data Insights — Model 1 (Leadership Management + Market Analysis – BCG Matrix, PLC, 7S Framework, Value Chain)
  2. Need Gap Analysis Identification — Model 2 (STP + 5Porters Forces)
  3. Recommendation Solutions & Prioritisation of Features (New & Enhancements) – Model 3 (Phase Gate Model/ Spider Mapping Technique ; High & Low Impact)
  4. User Persona Identification – Model 4 (Demography & Behaviour (Tech & Products) Mapping)
  5. Roadmapping + Project Management – Model 5 (Gantt Chart)
  6. BRD/ PRD – Model 6 (Process Note, Unified Modelling Language)
  7. MVP Approach – Model 7 (User – Action – Story ; Pain – Gain)
  8. User Journeys/Scenarios mapping – Model 8 (Decision Tree)
  9. Designing-> with quick dipsticks & quick changes around suggestions Model 9 : Neurological Emotional Branding + Decision of buying

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10. Development/Middleware – Library & its adaptations for agile expansion
11. UAT all scenarios/Hackathon (Model 10) /CUG – AB Testing Hypothesis linked to Data          Mining & Big Data Analysis…. Statistics & its variance test analysis! Frequentist vs              Bayesian ..
12. Success Metrics formulation (Model 11) Data visualisation /K Nearest neighbours/              Regression/Clustering ; Random Forests; Time series/sequence; text mining!
13. Launch & Optimise
14. Team Management Model

Disclaimer : My suggestions are based on my experience, research, interactions with other companies & my own theories/understandings on this space. Am quite confident of their inter-relationship with each other.

Some Books I recommend in this regard are :

  • Design of everyday Life
  • Sapiens
  • Art of Deduction
  • Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
  • Cognitive Science
  • Psychology of Persuasion
  • Infographica

ZINGOGRAPHY : Tech/Product/UX/Startup Update # 10 – PM ToolKit

Please consider every PM to be a works-person, who needs tools apart from their skills to do a good job out of a situation!

Every worksmith/ carpenter/ chef, etc. is incomplete without their toolbox so its important as a Product Manager to be sure of your own sharpened tools basis your experience, intuition, comfort/compatibility, etc.

I also have now worked for 8+ years in different Products domain starting with Data, OTT, E-commerce, Retail Channels (B2B + B2C), Media, Food, Jewellery, FMCG, FinTech, Travel/OTA, AdTech, Transportation (Cabs/Trucks), etc.
And from my own & other PMs experience – let me share a list which I find is useful for one & all. These are compiled basis checking with other industries & PMs as well :

  1. Research Tools : SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, TypeForm
  2. Current Situation + Need Gap Analysis : Porter’s Frameworks – SWOT, 4P, STP, 5 Porter’s Force
  3. Project Management : Asana, Jira, Trello
  4. Team Management : Slack, Basecamp
  5. MVP & Road-mapping : Asana, Aha, ProdPad,
  6. Spec Writing : Word, DropBox Paper, GitHub
  7. User Scenarios Mapping : Excel, Smaply/StoriesonBoard
  8. Designing : Invision, Iconjar
  9. Coding/ Development : GitHub
  10. UX : Prototype,io, Axure
  11. Team screen sharing + feedback incorporation : Zeplin, Intercom
  12. AB Testing : VWO, Wasabi
  13. Analytics – Front End : Google Analytics, Firebase
  14. Analytics – Middle ware : Moengage, Clevertap, Appsflyer
  15. Analytics – Back End : SQL, ML Tools
  16. Campaign Management : Adobe 360
  17. Targeted Campaigns : Targetting
  18. Revenue + P&L Management : MS Excel Macro

Apart From this – the must have ingredient almost like Oiling is 5-6 hours of Reading, Networking, Experimenting, Failing, Sharing, etc.

All The Best : Let the Magic Begin!

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Current Global Economy Scenario

Yes – it is worrying & highly concerning!

Disclaimer : Am no Global Policy or Economics Expert, am a Digital Product Specialist with my own vested interests for causes, people I love & care.
But I do credit myself to thinking well for the World & be able to suggest from my experience & in-depth research skillsets – what can be done to improve the situation.

My Key Concerns :

  • TRUMP (Face-Palm) : He is going on making drastic changes around employment, Trade Policies, Climate Pacts, Foreign Relations without taking long term & wide level impact into considerations. US Politics these days is more interesting than watching Live Sports & Avengers Movies. The latest being launching trade war on China – You cannot be serious about being so impractical about such critical decisions which directly impacts jobs, lives of people.
  • Brexit : How on earth UK is going to be a stronger economy by separating itself from EU, same EU nations which in medieval, modern history have helped UK become richer & supreme power, baffles me. This is a stupid game of Power which Conservatives have got all wrong – I still pray EU can make them pull back & there is no need for referendum as the decision to exit was on false foot always!
  • Tech Giants to Douche Bags : Yes how Silicon Valley CEOs have exposed their immaturity & unpreparedness to manage bigger issues has proved to the world that nothing Good is created in a hurry. They have to take the hard way to be well accepted by all – Mark Zuckerberg’s expressions during the council grilling sessions will call for some nightmares for most of the entrepreneurs. Elon Musk’s everyday antics to tweets are such an embarrassment to the talent Tech space possesses.

Refer this article : https://www.economist.com/briefing/2018/01/20/the-techlash-against-amazon-facebook-and-google-and-what-they-can-do

  • Bad Media Boys : How Media has played into the hands of power & fame hungry industries + individuals is scary to the least. In my view, Media industry has lost maximum value in recent past though it should have grown more reputable with time since its one of the key pillars of a functioning Democracy. There are so few names in the space of Journalism & Media industry who you can trust to give authentic unbiased information & be done away with opinions & mind feeds.
  • Absolute Authority of Power : What is with this world of keeping order by creating complete surrender to power of authority? Why can’t issues be openly debated & views be formed on them by mutual agreement & settlement? Judicial & Legislators have to play a more informed & vigilant role in here.
  • Impatient & Wannabe Generation thriving on Instant Gratification & material possessions : Have given up on them though high on confidence + Awareness & low on hesitation, these folks run away from grinding & do not believe in playing hard & long & patient & gradual to win. It’s now or never with them all the time.
  • Creativity & Art not being allowed to flourish : There are umpteen examples of creativity & artists coming under the hawk eye of politics, regulations, restrictions! Unfair… Let creativity flow & let consumers decide it’s trashy or classy.

Perhaps, we need more of MJs “Save the World” versions not just in Music but in every facet of life.

What is frightening is that these concerns are gonna have long term impacts upto 5 – 10 years on everyone’s lives.

Some solutions :

  • Global bodies like UN, IMF, World Bank, G8, Security Council have to come together to create more strong consensus against the “OBVIOUS WRONG” happening across the globe. They need to address it by first accepting what’s wrong with being Simply Selfish.
  • Bottoms Up :  people will need to start creating noise about their displeasure & make authority listen, in every facets – home, workspace, social media, societies, municipalities, judiciary, law & order.
  • Wait for something drastic to happen at one end of the world for other to abide as no option! This shall have heavy repercussions though, someone will have to pay the price. AMEN

How Media Aversion Has Helped Me!

It was a hard thought decision but something I should have done long back to be a much STRONGER & MORE CONFIDENT Human Being! Yes You Heard It, Long Back!!

I stopped quite a lot of Media Inflows towards me (my ears, eyes, most importantly Mind), in order to do that I did the following :

  • Stopped Reading All the Media websites & Apps (TOI was banned long back, NDTV, IndiaToday, IBN, etc.)
  • Removed TV Subscription (Best Decision Ever)
  • Shortened Facebook time to <5mins/week & diverting the remaining time to reading, linkedin, twitter, medium on filtered interests/subjects.
  • Forming my Viewpoints towards everything based on my own Research (well judged resources + Authentic sources) rather than word services of others
  • Adjudging the Media, Film world, Cricketers in my life what they are – PRESSTITUTES!
  • Avoiding all so called friends/influencers who promoted the Above or spoke mostly about the same

This happened as a result of above :

  • The filtered content was self approved & self adjudged
  • Got more time to do my research & form my own opinions based on topics that I was curious about, which is much better than being involuntarily educated at topics of no interest or motivation
  • Found & Relied on much informed company of intellectuals & common believers
  • I could only focus on what I WANTED FROM MYSELF !! I COULD SEE MYSELF AS A CLEAN SLATE & JUDGE MY BREATHE, MY ACTIONS, MY WAVES, RAYS, ENERGY IN A COMPLETE IMPARTIAL LIGHT
  • PM, Startups, Tech, VCs, Design, Statistics, World Politics & Trade, Travel, Clicking, Values, Ethics, History, Human Psychology, Sports (Quality), Social Entrepreneur – these are subjects that I know am not going to leave till the end of my breath! So happy to have discovered them as interests, serious hobbies, passions.
  • I can see my Vision & Dreams alot more clearly & am much more determined than ever to achieve them by building small blocks & gathering people around.

Hope it helps others as well!! Peace for All, Amen.

 

ZINGOGRAPHY : Tech/Product/UX/Startup Update # 8

Today I wish to compare the startup spaces in Indian & European Context. Those who read this should know that I share this majorly for my own clarity & perspective and if it helps others then great!

Recently, I have been focussing on 3 main things apart from my daily work & travel :

  • Reading a lot about new skill sets essential for PM especially like Deep Learning, Data Mining
  • Linking it with my current Work & Profile as well as Future Roles that I wish to do
  • Collaborating it with other PMs in different sectors/industries/companies

And there are some Key Insights regarding Different Geographical Consumer Tech companies that I have concluded :

  • Focus in Indian Companies (Startups as well as Big Ones) is to scale
  • Focus in European Companies is to understand the consumer behaviour first & sync all departments of technology, data, customer service towards that ONE Customer Proposition/their USP which will help them Succeed while focussing less or almost nothing on others
  • In US Companies, they go for massive funding & their aim is that – once establishing a prototype (more or less that with a short term vision)
  • SEA are replicating Chinese models more or less in terms of consumer personas as well as Tech Propositions
  • MENA regions are going like Indian Conglomerates – slow & cautious for the models that are already well proven for success

Let me also talk about a few skills which are becoming redundant as in they are understood that you will have when you apply for Product Roles :

  • Digital Marketing
  • Product Design & Strategy
  • KPI Metrics Management
  • Project Management
  • P&L Ownership
  • Business Development
  • Hiring & Training

These are the new skills towards which you need to show inclination & an aptitude for – please remember that though these may seem new worlds, their nuances are based in subjects well introduced to us. So let me give the picture complete for better understanding :

  • Machine Learning/AI/Deep Learning : Maths, Statistics, Computer Science for Coding
  • Blockchain : Telecom, Communications, System/Server Integration
  • AR/VR : Electronics, Robotics, Graphic Designing
  • 3D Printing : Biotechnology, Engineering Drawing

Personally I enjoy first 3 a lot & keep looking how it can be valuable in my current scope of work!

ZINGOGRAPHY : TECH/PRODUCT/UX/STARTUP UPDATE # 7.5

Sharing my list of most useful Apps (based on popularity, experience, usefulness) :

  • WhatsApp
  • Gmail
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Amazon
  • Google Maps
  • Wikipedia
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

Last two are my least favourite of all – they are just latching around for lack of options!

Will add more in due course.

 

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There shall be changes in coming years but one has to adapt the learnings from the top performing apps.

Future Push – Tech & Innovation!

Today I laid my hands on an article by HBR which am sharing here :

https://t.co/ISLUeum30c

Its matrix described gave me a lot of confidence & clarity on how to think for products & future roadmaps for yourself or company or society. Again Sharing here :

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 11.38.23 AM

Most of us (94%) are doing “Basic research” in this space especially at the middle & lower management level.

Some of us (5.9%) are doing “Sustaining Innovation” as Product Managers, Leaders & even in space which is not so well defined from problem statement or domain per se but we assume that this is the solution or expected world so lets go for it.

Very Few of us (0.1%) are trying to do Disruptive or Breakthrough Innovation. Elon Musk for sure lies in the Breakthrough space and so are some of the esteemed scientists in the technology, literature, economics, art, media, etc. spaces.
Breakthrough is really difficult to achieve of all – requires huge research, money, persistence, sharp focus, dedication, sacrifice @ personal, health, etc. level
Disruptive is still achievable if one has fair control on various variables like talent, opportunity, business model, money, knowledge.

So if I have to rate the various models in chronological order, I will say Basic Research + Sustaining Innovation are “all right to have” like the Must Have but not sufficient.
Disruptive is achievable while Breakthrough is really tough but yet possible 🙂
Anyone wanting to excel in any sphere/industry/role should have first two for sure as a constant practice like eating, breathing and achieve disruptive time & again (like 5 – 10 in lifetime) while keep aiming for Breakthrough as it will be extremely rare – one, if you are very lucky then two.

If you have achieved one break- through, then remaining three still are important but your job is done – that’s the AIM ! Great brands, companies, products are known for that one discovery. E.g. Infosys by NRN, Disney by Walk, Apple by Jobs amongst many others.

Some people achieve disruptive time & again e.g. Actors going for 100Mn then 200Mn, etc. marks for box office returns. Or great PMs able to fish out great products time & again, can’t call any names right now 🙂 E.g. Google as a company maybe

So here’s the mantra – keep adding to yourself with the first 3 & make yourself a Break through as a person or create a Break through company or work on a Break Through Product. Mostly in my case, first & last are more probable while middle one is a distant dream 🙂 Amen to all though !

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