10. There's a robot soccer leauge - Check out Robocup on YouTube. The humanoid leauge is particularly fun to watch.
8. Non-cookied users are good for A/B testing - Say you want to do some A/B testing, why not just use un-cookied users? They likely haven't bought anything from you in the past, so there's not much risk trying out new stuff on them.
7. When you should build a feature - There's a lot of overhead if you build a feature and it fails to gain adoption. One speaker humorously noted that a friend would set up a link to a "new" feature on their site. If they got a lot of 404 hits then they knew people were trying to use the feature, and then it is likely worthwhile to build. I got a kick out of this because you could even just make the link disappear after they click it... while confusing the user they will probably just scratch their head and think they imagined it.
6. Google might be a fallback one day - As answer engines become more common it's likely one day you will be able to search complex queries. For example, who won the Nobel Peace Prize while Woodrow Wilson was president? Good luck finding the answer for that without cross-referencing different sources. The AI of the future will bring back exactly what you're looking for. If a question is too hard though the search engines of the future will probably use our current form of Google as a fallback.
5. People don't write reviews - In "Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon" Jared Spool mentioned that out of every 1,300 orders Amazon.com receives, only one person writes a review. So if you have written a review on the site you are among a very small minority. Amazon does have such high volume though that they do get a decent number of reviews... check out the reviews for this. Quality. Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon 128 fl oz.
4. You can be a shit funnel or shit umbrella - Umbrellas are managers that protect their workers and funnels do the opposite. This wasn't a revelation per say, but it was a succinct way of putting it.
3. A/B testing is scary - The A/B professionals made an interesting point that they don't care WHY they are getting results. As long as the bottom line is increasing then they are happy. For example, if more people registering and that's your goal then forget about finding out why. However the scary part is one speaker changed something, got positive results and 2 years changed it back in a test and got improved results again. So was the original switch a temporary anomaly or did user behavior just change over time? I don't know... nobody does... scary.
2. Amazon's secret to success - Turns out the real key to their success is their business model. Essentially while other companies have higher prices, they move products more slowly. This leads to them having to take a loan to pay for the products until they are sold. On the other end, Amazon sells cheap, moves the product quickly and then earns interest from the cash received until they have to buy more products again. I probably explained it all wrong, but the point is they could theoretically stay in business selling every product at the price they buy it for from the manufacturer. Very cool.
1. Ze Frank is a genius. Yah... he talked at the conference... it was a great presentation, but I'm praising him for another reason. We chatted at the Pepsi party and he strongly recommended that on my way home I grab a sandwich from Salt Lick at the airport. He described it as "heaven". How could I resist? I got the sliced brisket, and it was phenomenal. If you're ever in the area it's a must, and also eases the pain of leaving such a cool place.