Zombie Users in a Lean Startup

In the previous post we explained that only new users should be taken into account when validating your Lean Startup hypotheses, where by definition a new user has never been in contact with previous product versions.

OK, so we focus on new users and we are done, right? Not quite so, according to what we've learnt with browseye there are still some important caveats: In this post we'll talk about freshmen, veterans and zombies!

Gotcha: Any given new user goes through two distinct modes: freshman and veteran. Depending on the hypothesis you want to validate you'll want to work with new users in the first or the second mode. Mixing them can lead to fatal hypothesis validation errors.

Not all Users are Alike in a Lean Startup

A lean startup measures user behaviour in order to test some hypotheses and accquire validated learning. However, not all users should be taken into account when validating your hypotheses.  At least that's what we have concluded from our measurements with browseye. According to this learning, we discuss in this post which users you should be working with.

New vs. Old Users

Gotcha: When you deploy a new product version you should ignore the behaviour of the user base from previous versions (i.e., the old users). Old users will invalidate your learning!