GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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Everybody Lies: Survivorship Bias

Iskander Khabibrakhmanov  |  Senior Product Development Manager, Innova Systems

Location: Room 2010, West Hall

Format: Session
Track: Business, Marketing & ManagementDesign
Vault Recording: Video

It's broadly considered that listening to your customer is a very important thing - but it's not. Okay, we do partially agree with this statement, but in fact, a far more useful strategy when launching a new product is to ignore them. The main idea here is that users that who spent their time giving you feedback generally like your product. On the other hand, customers dissatisfied with your product probably won't bother you with feedback, and are thus are hard to reach. In this case, your user sample as well as your decisions are biased. This is called survivorship bias. Survivorship bias can emerge in many ways, leading to harmful decisions. However, being aware of it and analyzing appropriate data can significantly advance the quality of your decisions and lead your product to success. This session will cover common mistakes in feedback, data analysis, key metrics and tools to advance the decision process.


Attendees will learn when separate analysis of recently registered users may give a better guess on possible ways to improve the product. The session will introduce useful metrics and tools to help predict the long-run outcome of discounts and other product-related activities, and thus advance decision making.

Intended Audience

Product managers, community managers and those engaged in data analysis, evaluating users' feedback and product decision making.