Skip to main content

Saas Applications and Manuals?

Software Manuals anyone? Who reads them?  For interactive products like Video games or phones, who reads them?  My 4 year son started using iPad like a pro and now he even tells me this is PBS kids and this is netflix.  When I got an iPhone I never read a manual and havent so far for last 2 years.  As Kids we never read manual for video games. The game developers just made level1 easier and you learn as you play and get better.

Recently I had a chance to compare two APM tools AppDynamics and NewRelic at a large scale at my employer and both took me 5 min to setup and get going. But what sold me to NewRelic was their ability to deliver value without doing any additional configuration. Their Level1 itself had so many aha moments that it sold me immediately.  Dont get me wrong, Appdynamics is a very  powerful APM tool but you have to configure it, tweak it like an ERP solution to get value out of it, it felt so 1990s. In past 3 months I never got enough time to tweak and configure Appdynamics.  Whereas NewRelic felt more like a game where you configure this plugin and you get more value and you use this view and you get things to optimize and this continued on.

We are soon realizing the limitations of NewRelic and now I have to read manuals to configure it and tweak it to get more value out of it but its a Sunk Cost theory and I would try to live with it as not me but everyone in team has invested in it. So I would now try to Configure AppDynamics to get advanced things that NewRelic cant.

In short the lesson to be learnt is now a days no one likes to read manuals and millennials need instant gratification. I occasionally do read manuals but only when you are dealing with very custom thing like Configure an active directory or configure custom instrumentation or you want to use advanced options of sed or awk or using a totally new tool or api that is not intuitive like credit card processing.

In real life there are many things where I read manuals like assembling a wood furniture because once you have put the screw in wrong place you are toast so you have to be careful. But when it comes to using software applications the unconscious bias is always to play with it without reading plethora of documentation as what can go wrong, you can always retry it.  When designing Saas products if you can make it a game there is a very good chance of higher conversion.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Compartmentalization helps with Deep Work

I had been trying to learn Solidity/Ethereum over the weekends for the past few months and the first 3-4 weekends were a drag as no matter what I do I wasnt able to focus and getting no where. The problem was not with motivation as I was trying to do it for many weeks but all I was able to do was read 100s of blog posts about it but not able to code anything.

Aparently I realized that on weekdays most of my work is in the "study" room whereas on weekend I was trying to do it in the living room. Now working in study on wekeend was an issue as it felt more like work than fun so last 2 weekends I tried changing the schedule and went 3 hours every Sunday to library with my son and while he was reading books I was coding in solidity.

I also had trouble writing code after 7:00 PM as I thought my brain was tired but last week I tried sitting in study around 10:00 -11:00 in night and boy I was able to focus and code.

Net Net I realized that:
"Having a consistent Routine help wit…

Adventures of a nature lover - 5 national parks in 14 days

To unplug from work and recharge myself I do a 2-3 week trip every year where I am unplugged. Few of the reasons I can totally unplug from work is
Unlimited Vacation policy of Egnyte, Excellent support by the Infrastructure team Our ethos of pro-actively fixing issues before they become nuisance.
TLDR; It's a long post so you can scroll down and first see see images if you need motivation to read it entirely.

Me and my family like national parks and camping to recharge us as there is no cell phone  coverage in parks and you are completely unplugged from technology most of the times. We have done many of the national parks nearby and this year we want to see glacier national park as the glaciers may disappear in 10-15 years so see them before they are gone. Behind every successful trip is a "Trip planner" and for our family its my wife, she researched  and made a trip itinerary book.

She booked camp sites 6 months in advanceShe researched trails and as days are few she pres…

Seven things doing a 1000 piece puzzle has common with complex engineering projects

I was doing grocery shopping during the New Year holidays and the store had a lot of 1000 piece puzzle on sale for $11. My son had never done more than 100 pieces and  I was like hey this seems interesting for him, so I bought one. We started working it on Jan13th and finished between 4 people on Jan25th. During the journey of finishing I saw a lot of similarities with complex engineering projects. I think everyone in engineering should do one of these and here are some of the things I learned.


Underestimating the task: I grossly underestimated the task and amount of time it would take for my son to do it.Teamwork: After a day or two I realized my son lost interest, the whole family had to be involved to keep him motivated on it.Prep work: Like engineering projects, you need to do a lot of prep work like:Turn  the pieces down Study the patternsSort the piecesDivide and rule: Like engineering projects you need to pick some quick wins initially to get off the ground and start assigning t…