I was asked to be a guest blogger here at Webanalyticsbook.com and figured that I would follow on Sebastian's post regarding Guy Kawasaki's Alltop directory featuring Webanalyticsbook.com.
Although I had already heard of Guy Kawasaki and even read some magazine articles of his, I still didn't know (really) who he was a couple of years ago when we were both speakers at PubCon. Okay, he was the 'keynote' speaker and I was a 'regular' speaker. Anyway, I sat pretty close and watched him deliver a really great presentation: down to earth, but with personality and humor that carried a truly uplifting message. So then I start to understand that Guy is a total legend of Internet entrepreneurship. I became a fan (bought his book) and now on to the meat of this post: What does Guy think about analytics? I sent him over a few VERY insightful and probing questions to get his thoughts - below are the unedited answers.
Derek Vaughan: How important is it to carefully track and analyze what's happening on your website (or mobile app, or other media). In brief how important are analytics?
Guy Kawasaki: Honestly, I try to not track things too much. I find that when Alltop has a busy day I get elated, but when it has a slow day, I get depressed. Bottom line: the stats make me crazy so now I just do the best I can and don't obsess about it.
I hope we'll "tip" someday and then life will be good. Until then, I just grind it out more or less in blissful ignorance. I depend on my partner to tell me when we had a great day and not say anything when we had a slow day.
Derek: What's the most important metric for you that you focus on in your online business? Unique visits, time spent on site, where the visitor goes, something else? (and why?)
Guy: The most important metric for me is the one that shows the most improvement from the previous day. I tell Web 2.0 entrepreneurs that the most important metric is the one that is going up the fastest. Like I said, metrics drive me crazy. Rationally, the most important metric is page views because that's how we will sell ads.
What drives me crazy is that other than Google Analytics, I think most metrics are almost random. There are so many ways to be deceived or to deceive others with metrics that I don't know why anyone believes any metrics at all.
Whenever I hear someone's public numbers, I divide by ten because I know most of the time they are referring to server logs and who knows how they are counting spiders, if the entire page is loaded, etc. If you really want to know someone's numbers, you should ask for a copy of their daily Google Analytics report.
Derek: We all know that the Mac and the iPhone will rule the world When will that happen exactly?
Guy: That's a set up. Will Macintosh ever have 95% market share? I doubt it. Iphone--depends on what you mean by rule the world. It will dominate smart phones but all phones in general? That's tougher.
Let me put it this way: with Apple, things are never as good or as bad as they seem.
Derek: What's the most interesting thing you've seen lately that has changed your view of how a modern business can thrive?
Guy: What kind of question is that? That's the kind of question a tv producer puts up on a teleprompter for a clueless reporter to ask. :-)
Ouch! Okay Guy - I get the point. So here's one other item that I think tells us something about Guy. At the bottom of his email reply was the following message:
''Not sent from an iPhone.''
This content was written by Derek Vaughan exclusively for Webanalyticsbook.com. Derek is working for several companies including 34sp.com. If you are interested being a guest blogger on webanalyticsbook.com, feel free to get in touch with me