Makers everywhere get better at building products because of PostHog
Q3 2023 Goals
As always, reliability is the #1 unwritten goal: Making sure feature flags are reliable trumps every other objective.
Objective: Make it easier for engineers to analyze the success of a feature
Last quarter, we built the foundation for feature success: All sorts of different tools that people can use to help determine success.
This quarter is about bringing it all together and making it seamless to connect these features together.
This will involve a few things:
- Validate every component is useful on its own (flag autocapture, surveys, dashboard templates on flags, and early access management).
- Integrate every pair of components together: i.e. validate every pair of the above components can multiply usefulness over a single component
- Integrate all components together in one place: A notebook template that brings feature success together.
We would have achieved this objective when
- People start their analysing journey with ‘feature success’, rather than an insight/dashboard
- We publish a case study of a customer loving feature success
- This feature itself helps us answer if it's successful
Objective: Build out an excellent user feedback product
One of the components from last quarter - Surveys - has a lot more potential to stand on its own than other components. Thus, our second objective is to build out surveys into a great user feedback product.
- Having more options for survey types: NPS surveys, setting up user interviews, multiple choice questions
- Building out an API version for the same, so users can freely integrate it into their product
- Ensuring survey prompts don't destroy the end user experience, by say, showing a 100 prompts a day.
- More flexibility and control over who to target for surveys
- Fast, iterative and high output rather not slow and thoughtful - achieving this
- Feedback-driven not spec-driven - we do a decent job at this
- Missionary (we have a clear problem definition and are aligned on how impactful a solution would be) not mercenary - glimpses of this
- Collaborative not lone wolf - glimpses of this
- 20-75 employees
- Series A-D
- Customer type:
- High expectation traits:
- Use the modern data stack
- Frontend uses typescript and react
- API companies
- Shopify stores/no-code companies
- Product-minded front-end engineer
- Growth engineer
- Decision-making seat on product
- Senior engineer
- High expectation traits
- Reads HackerNews
- Educated about the other feature flagging/experimentation tools in the space
- Needs high-reliability and high-performance
- Uses best-in-class tools such as Linear/Figma
- Product Manager
- Backend engineer
Jobs to be done
- Safely rollout frontend features with the least risk
- Persistent feature flags e.g. country/pay gate
- Build/test in production
- Enable beta users to try out experimental features ahead of time
- Test whether a particular feature achieves the desired change in user behavior
You can find out more about the features we own here
Long term vision
Imagine Bob is a product manager, and Alice is an engineer, both of whom love using PostHog.
During their weekly growth review, Posthog shows them that one of their workflows is performing 50% worse than other SaaS companies with a similar flow. They decide to build a new feature together, but they're unsure of the impact, so Bob & Alice decide to gate the feature via a feature flag.
Alice builds the feature and runs the PostHog CLI, automatically converting his feature branch to a feature-flagged version. During creation, he selects the team template they normally use, called "Autorollout based on conversion metric", using the conversion metric that Posthog suggests. The feature progressively rolls out to internal users, then to beta users, then to remaining users. If their conversion metric falls by more than 20% the feature automatically rolls back and alerts their team. Alice requests a feature flag review from Bob.
Bob checks the Posthog UI and because it's such an important feature - adds a safety condition for Sentry errors increasing by 30% and a few counter metrics. This should result in an automatic rollback as well. Bob starts the experiment.
Thankfully, nothing goes wrong when the feature is rolled out. The team is disappointed that the feature doesn't seem to move any of the core company metrics, however. This doesn't fit into either of Alice's or Bob's model, so they dig deeper why this was the case.
Before they even start, PostHog automatically does some impact analysis on their core metrics, and generates some insights into what properties are highly correlated with conversion & which aren't.
As it turns out, people in USA and India love their new feature and show a 40% increase in conversion. Other countries, especially the UK, seem to dislike it so much that it negatively affects conversion. In the end, these forces balance out, leading to similar total conversion rates.
They suspect it might have something to do with their positioning in other countries, so they run a marketing experiment using PostHog, where PostHog automatically generates recommended copy text to try out. It generates 5 variants, and they test these in all countries.
As it turns out, copy wasn't the issue, and there's no significant change here. They watch a few recordings from the experiment to confirm there's nothing off here.
Since it's not a positioning issue, Bob & Alice decide that it makes sense to introduce some personalisation, and let people opt-in to the new feature, and have it on by default for USA and India. They can customise this right from the feature flag, and set this up such that any users who opt-in on their UI automatically get the flag.
PostHog keeps analysing metrics for this flag over time, and notifies Bob and Alice when their customers behaviour change. For example, if the conversion for users in UK has taken a turn for the better, or if enterprise customers have taken a turn for the worse.
Our long term vision is to make all of this possible.
What we're building
We are building a Surveys product so that you can collect and analyse qualitative data alongside quantitive data.
Feature Success Analysis
Bringing together different parts of PostHog (flags, replay, surveys) to allow users to better analyse the success of a new feature.
Users & recordings linked to feature flags
We want to make it easier for those who use feature flags to get information on users attached to a particular feature flag, and gather more information on those users' experience through session recordings.