There was a great blog post on the Mode Blog, “Facebook’s Aha Moment is Simpler Than You Think,” which provided a straightforward strategy to creating Aha moments. Aha moments when a player or user understands the value of your product are widely considered the key to growth.
The key point of the post was that you create the aha moment through simple math and strong messaging; it is not a complex task that requires advanced analytics. Take Facebook’s self-defined aha moment, acquiring seven friends in ten days. In practice, this is not a binary. Some people may fall in love with Facebook after getting three friends in a week; others may need to get twenty friends in thirty days. This fact does not take away from the aha moment, it is actually the point of the aha moment. The blog post states, “Facebook’s decision to define their ‘aha moment’ in such simple terms suggests they weren’t trying to optimize it to be precise as possible. Other “aha moments”—30 follows, 1 file upload, 2,000 messages—follow the same pattern: they emphasize simplicity over science…. Because “aha moments” aren’t about precision, but about defining a core principle and a quotable rally cry for the entire company. “
Defining the aha moment
To create a useful aha moment, you need to tie it to a metric that defines customer value. Keep in mind that it is not one “moment,” Facebook’s aha moment is over ten days and requires seven different actions (friending seven people).
The most useful metrics for quantifying your aha moment are based on retention. Customers who find value come back. If you identify which actions separate retained customers from lost ones, you will know what drives customer value and then have your “aha moment.”
The key is finding high overlap between the activity and retention. If almost all users who do an activity (say refer 5 friends) retain but most retained users do not do the activity, it is not the aha metric. Conversely, if an activity is done by virtually all people who retain (say click on the start button) but it is also done by a large number you do not retain, it is also not the aha metric. The aha metric is the one where there is a large overlap between the activity and retention while little retention from people not doing the activity and few people doing the activity that you do not retain.
Find what drives retention
Given that a retention metric should be how you evaluate your aha moment, the challenge is finding the appropriate metric. The post suggests starting by selecting actions you think are potentially important. It can be sending gifts to friends, number of chats started, how many people they follow, anything that may signal that a user likes your product.
For each metric you want to test, see how retention rates change as usage changes. First, look at how closely usage correlates with retention. Do people who do the action show a high likelihood to stay. Then check if people who do not stay also do the action. As described in the previous section, you are looking to find an activity that is only done by those you retain. If people who you retain are doing the action and people who leave are not, you have found a potential aha metric.
The next step is to determine causality, as right now we have only looked at correlation. As the Mode Blog post states, “once you find what correlates most strongly with retention, push users to take that action. If the relationship is causal, more people will retain and your correlation will hold. If it’s not causal, people will take the action but won’t retain at higher rates. As a result, the original correlations will break down until another feature emerges as being more strongly correlated with retention. Rinse and repeat until your correlation holds.”
And there you have it
Once you find the action that creates the aha moment, you then focus your company on maximizing it. Product, features, growth, should all be centered on this metric and your progress is now easy to measure. It also forces you to focus on what is important. If you know what is critical to users to love your product and build to that, growth is inevitable.
- A products aha moment is when a player or user understands the value of your product.
- To measure the aha moment, you need to find an action that people who stay are likely to take while people who do not stay will not complete.
- Once you have determined the aha metric, you should focus your company on delivering this to customers.