Introducing Innovators: Behind the Product - Mixpanel
Introducing Innovators: Behind the Product

Introducing Innovators: Behind the Product

Last edited: Feb 25, 2022 Published: Dec 3, 2019
Mixpanel Team

Ever wonder how leaders in some of the top companies around the world use data and analytics to grow their businesses and gain a competitive edge in the market?

Today, we launch Innovators: Behind the Product—a collection of personal stories, anecdotes and insights from leading executives across a wide swath of industries. Followers of the series will learn about the challenges these executives faced, frameworks they used, and their ideas and philosophies on innovating at every step.

Below, we’re sharing the TL;DR of our first three stories from the series, and the key actionable insights you can apply today—whether you’re a leader in product, growth, or marketing, data-curious or data-obsessed.

Discover the full series and sign up to receive new content each month at

Driving product usage and retention with Ken Rudin, Head of User Growth at Google

Your product team is releasing new features at a steady clip. But how do you know if you’re doing everything you can to drive usage and retention? According to Google’s Head of User Growth, Ken Rudin, it’s often the small, overlooked initiatives that drive large-scale impact.

  • Raise feature awareness: Too frequently overshadowed by new features, existing features may hold the key to user retention. Identifying and driving adoption of these product features is an oft-forgotten way to accelerate product growth.
  • Promote in context: Instead of bombarding users with alerts about new features when they first open your app, focus on delivering value in the moment they’re most likely to want to use that feature (and will remember to use it again).
  • Listen to the data: Only about one-third of experiments show any impact on the first iteration. Go beyond a shortsighted ‘build-and-release’ model, and deeply analyze the results of your experiments, identify new insights, and use what you’ve learned to adjust and try again.

Read Ken’s story here.

The 3 As of becoming a data-driven organization with Gina Gotthilf, VP of Growth & Community at Quartz

In case you missed it, data is in right now. But Gina Gotthilf, Quartz’s VP of Growth and Community, cautions that companies must move beyond lip service and begin using data to influence every business decision—from annual OKRs to the smallest A/B tests.

According to Gina, good data is:

  • Accurate: Without trust in the numbers, data is rendered useless. Ensure that the math behind every data point is shared amongst stakeholders, propagate a culture of statistical significance, and use automation whenever possible.
  • Accessible: Avoid data bottlenecks by establishing a common language and dictionary of terms—and then use it. Gina is a firm believer that every meeting should reference data.
  • Actionable: Truly data-informed teams can spot the difference between actionable insights and vanity metrics. Challenge your teams to report actionable data only, and stay nimble by implementing the right tools and processes to uncover it.

Read Gina’s story here.

Taking a holistic approach to understanding data with Fabian Dill, CEO & Head of Data Science & DieProduktMacher

There’s no magic formula for unlocking the power of data. But according to Fabian Dill, CEO & Head of Data at Munich-based agency DieProduktMacher, a 360-degree approach can help companies build a culture that prioritizes data in decision-makinghelping them answer the ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘who’, and ever-elusive ‘why’ behind their product.

  • What you collect matters: Bring in the right data based on JTBD, then get to know it intimately. The best product leaders have a complete understanding of the user actions that feed their data points.
  • So does how you do it: Fabian encourages a practice of gathering insights, information, and data from as many sources as possible. Think outside the box to identify new ways data could be generated, or historical sources that are ripe for the picking.
  • Know who you’re innovating for: The best products place users at the center. Combine data analytics with a qualitative understanding of your users to build a powerful cycle of reinforcement.

Read Fabian’s story here.

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