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The Business Leaders Network

David Cancel

David Cancel

Founder and CEO of Performable, Performable

David is a serial entrepreneur with a twelve-year record of building forward-thinking businesses.He specializes in online marketing technology, social media, and scaling large data systems.

Prior to becoming CEO of Performable, David  was the co-founder and CTO at Lookery. Before Lookery, David was a founder and CTO at Compete, which was acquired by WPP.

Prior to his seven years at Compete, he was the CTO of BuyerZone, which was acquired by Reed Elsevier. In the late 90s, David was part of the founding team of Bolt.com and part of Lycos.

Creating a data-driven business

Business of Software US 2011

Great talk – only 25 minutes or so then lots of Q&A.

Dave covers, amongst other things:

  • Why is it important to create a data driven team? I think that if you develop a culture within your company around measuring and having clear feedback loops, everyone knows how what they’re doing is impacting their business.
  • Being data driven allows teams to fail faster when you’re starting to fail with your products and your services. Why is failing good? The guys from Rovio started Angry Birds. Angry Birds is a phenomenal success by any measure: financially, culturally, a huge success. But Rovio failed fifty-one times before having the success with Angry Birds. They’re an overnight success, everyone talks about Angry Birds, it actually took fifty-one failures before it got to this.
  • Data allows everyone in the business to see how the things that they’re doing have affected the key things that we care about – trying to get someone from being a prospect to being a customer.

Quotable lines…

  • “Talking, reading and dreaming are worthless.”
  • “Data alone is useless.”
  • “Use data to validate your assumptions.”
  • “Optimize your business for learning, not data.”
  • “Always be testing.”
  • “We have a strategic plan. It’s doing things.”
  • “In God we trust. For the rest bring data.”

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