A/B Testing: Can you iterate your way to great products?

Jeff Atwood’s (@codinghorror) blog about the movie “Groundhog Day” got me thinking much more deeply about A/B testing, a powerful tool in a set of tools that enable a new generation of nimble startups to compete effectively against the big Internet players.

For example, Match.com is stuck on a decade-old architecture and would be hard-pressed to create dozens of unique traffic funnels and ruthlessly tune them to extract optimal performance from each acquisition channel. Hence, the window is open for new competitors who can use these tools to develop products from the get-go.

But what are the limits of iterative optimization?

Split testing is, in my view, no substitute for product vision.

Human beings are probably the ultimate result of great product development through split testing – evolution is one giant iterative experiment. Unfortunately for Internet startups it took millions of years … Read More »

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