Thank you. Hey everybody, it’s great to be here in Miami. I flew down last night from New York. It was still winter, snow on the ground, and it’s nice and warm here. I’m glad to be here.
When I agreed to come down and talk, the people at Carsonified said “We want you to list 10 things that make a great web app.” I thought to myself, “Gee, I don’t know if I can keep it to 10.” I have put together a list of 10 things, and I want to present them to you today. I think it comes from my experience, for really 15 years, of investing in web applications; what I’ve learned, in terms of what has worked well, and what has not worked well. I’ve used a lot of web apps.
Our style of investing is pretty straightforward. We have a set of things we’re interested in. Anything that doesn’t fit into that set of things we just tell the people behind the project that it doesn’t really fit into what we do. If it does fit into what we do, we use the product. If we find the product really resonates with us, then we invite the team behind the project, the service, or the product in, and we get to know them. If we like both the product/service and the team, then it often leads to investment.
These are 10 things that we look for in an application. I’m sure that some of you will disagree with the list, but that’s the whole point of it in the first place. The topic is “10 Golden Principles for Building Successful Web Applications”.
First and foremost, we believe that speed is more than a feature. Speed is the most important feature. If your application is slow, people won’t use it. I see this more with mainstream users than I do with power users. I think that power users sometimes have a bit of sympathetic eye to the challenges of building really fast web apps, and maybe they’re willing to live with it, but when I look at my wife and kids, they’re my mainstream view of the world. If something is slow, they’re just gone.
We think that the application has to be fast, and if it’s not, you can see what happens. We have every single one of our portfolio company services on Pingdom, and we take a look at that every week. When we see some of our portfolio company’s applications getting bogged down, we also note that they don’t grow as quickly. There is real empirical evidence that substantiates the fact that speed is more than a feature. It’s a requirement.