Author Archives: Alex

Runet at Warp Speed

I can’t believe at what speed the Runet has transformed. On my previous trip, just 4 years ago I remember feeling confused and disappointed by most Russian websites. Now, being the largest European Internet market, the Russian Internet has not only closed any gap but became a technology leader and boasts global players.
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Need a way to picture Big Data? Start working with it!

Fact: It’s super hard to imagine very large numbers. Take a moment and try to picture a mountain that is 50,000 km high, or a pile of $20 billion! Close your eyes for a moment and try to visualize that giant rock or massing mountain of $$$. And with massive amounts of bits and bytes, it’s no difference. What it means to have millions of observations to process, is just mindblowlingly tough to image a priory. But it gets so much easier once you start working with it.
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The online education challenge

I’m currently enrolled in my second course on Coursera. I can’t help but wondering how amazing it is to be given the chance to learn whatever you like from great teachers. Needless to say that I’m a big fan of the whole concept of free online education. However, I’m still not convinced that Coursera will make universities obsolete.

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What I’ve learned from running an early stage startup

I have recently stepped down from my position as Director of Rankpanel. The time I had there was full of what I consider important learning that should help me get in the future. I’m very thankful for Chris and the Rankpanel team to have given me the opportunity to lead that project. In this post I’d like to sum up the 5 most important learnings from running an early-stage startup.

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The magic 5%

You know, ad-supported businesses are not that deck anymore. So all consumer startups are searching for alternative ways to make some money$. Why not make users pay for…say no ads, or better features, or better looks? Surely this will work much much better and soon your company will need David Hasselhoff to rescue you from the all the $$$ you’ll be about to drown in, or will it? Continue reading

Users gonna use: Retention as the SaaS success factor

In most Startups a lot of attention is usually given to the growth model of startups. While for SaaS companies growing the user base is important, growth rate is often a vanity metric. What you should rather be focusing on is sticky growth. In this post I show how to calculate the sticky growth rate for Freemium businesses and show a few steps to increase activity. Continue reading