Why Do People Use My App?

“The learning and knowledge that we have is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.” 
– Plato
Just in case Plato is a little bit more refined than what you’re used to:

“Nobody will never ever really know, because the more you know, the more you know that you don’t know shit.”
– MF DOOM
It’s weird to realize and publicly admit that I have no idea why people use the app I spend most of my time working on.

Yes, I know what it says on the marketing site and pricing page. I know what features we have. I can tell you how many clients we have and how many of our client’s clients use our service.

Knowing all that doesn’t help me answer the most important question I need to know as someone who makes a living making software:

Why Do People Use My App?

This question leads me to personally uncharted territories, things I haven’t done myself, so I need to learn from what much smarter people have said about this.

One of my favorites is Ryan Singer. He communicates with such clarity! You should watch him talk sometime; seriously worth it. He also makes pretty fantastic sketches on what he’s talking about. Here’s one from his talk about building an event management web-app.

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This sketch basically explains what I’m looking for!

I want to see the value our clients seek from us. I have to understand what our client’s clients gain from the service we offer them. I really need to know what makes them feel we’re worth paying month after month.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to focus on gathering usage data and helping my coworkers make sense of it. Literally can’t wait to see what the data says and how far off-base my initial assumptions are 😀

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