Building a Product Improvement Loop — Darrell Stone, Citizen
The Sub Club PodcastAugust 31, 2022
45
00:45:5743.68 MB

Building a Product Improvement Loop — Darrell Stone, Citizen

On the podcast I talk with Darrell about going from zero to an 8-figure ARR in just 18 months, building a product improvement loop combining user research and A/B testing, and why expecting failure is one of the keys to success.

On the podcast I talk with Darrell about going from zero to an 8-figure ARR in just 18 months, building a product improvement loop combining user research and A/B testing, and why expecting failure is one of the keys to success.

Top Takeaways
📈
Going from 0 to an 8-figure ARR in 18 months is doable
🙈 Sharing and selling data isn’t necessary to build and scale subscription apps
🎰 Structuring product development as a “bet” liberates you from needing to be right

About Darrell Stone
👨‍💻
Head of Product & Design at Citizen, the number one public safety app in the U.S.
💪 Darrell defined and scaled Citizen's consumer subscription product with a dual focus on acquisition and retentive, life-saving features.
💡 “Product [development] in consumer tech is very much a team sport. You have to approach it through the mindset that you're building a team that's going to win a thing.”
👋  LinkedIn and Twitter

Links & Resources
‣ Citizen App
‣ Citizen’s Career Page

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Episode Highlights
[2:03] Leaving Uber to scale a startup: Darrell discusses the reasons why he left Uber to start a subscription app.
[5:20] Making the world a safer place: Citizen is a “moderated safety app.” It has more than 100 people actively listening to police scanners to enable provide real-time information about what is happening in communities.
[10:57] Charging for a public safety app: Darrell discusses the tension between monetization and Citizen’s mission of keeping people safe. He outlines the difference between the freemium and paid products.
[19:15] Citizen on the world stage: Darrell talks about taking Citizen global and how the company “a safety marketplace” to the world.
[22:20] World pricing: Darrell offers potential strategies for global cost and price differences.
[24:52] Understanding users: Darrell gives insight into how user research shapes A/B testing, product development and the improvement loop.
[30:05] Antifragile product development: One of Darrell’s go-to recommendation for people in product is Annie Duke’s interview on The Knowledge Project. Bumps are inevitable during the product development process — it’s how you manage it that matters.
[33:14] Lessons learned for top unlocks: Darrell discusses tips for being more right than wrong to unlock a real value-add, and how this took the company from zero to eight figures in ARR.
[37:45] Buy versus build: David and Darrell talk about how bringing on third party tooling can help achieve long-term company goals.
[41:45] Aligning the team to the bigger vision: Darrell explains how clear goals, rapid feedback loops and celebrating incremental progress help keep teams motivated through the whole process.