LTV (Lifetime Value) is an important metric for decision-making in both marketing and product management. But measuring LTV is a bit tricky and you can easily make mistakes when calculating it. Moreover, even articles that have found their way to the first first page of Google search results contain mistakes when it comes to calculating LTV.

In this essay, I will discuss how to (not) calculate LTV, and how to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Calculating LTV based on revenue instead of contribution margin.
  • Calculating LTV by using users’ Lifetime which is calculated as 1/churn or in any other way.
  • Calculating…


The mobile industry is undergoing one of the most fundamental changes of recent years. Apple has decided that early 2021, app developers will no longer have access to IDFA by default.

IDFA is a unique device identifier used for ad attribution, retargeting, alike audiences, analytics and other tasks. After the change, in order to receive the IDFA, an app developer must explicitly request the user’s permission (which is similar to allowing push notifications in an app). According to various estimates, the share of users who will provide access to their IDFA doesn’t exceed 10%.

Apple has provided privacy-friendly alternatives for…


When I worked at Facebook, the Workplace analytics team had a cool tradition: The team’s weekly meetings always started with a small data quiz.

The winner of the previous week’s competition would prepare a question about the product’s key metrics. For example, “what was last month’s MAU?” or “how many new users joined last week?” or “what proportion of the new companies reach 10 users?” or “what was last month’s revenue?” The question had one requirement: Its answer had to be found on the team’s dashboard.

The participants were to write down the answer without getting help from computers, which…


The underestimated path to product-market fit, or where organic growth comes from

What did you decide to do next?

It was March 16, 2020. I rushed to the States to be closer to the NY cluster of the event industry, so when the quarantine is over, I can resume negotiations ASAP.

While awaiting my flight at the empty airport, I wrote an article about Ducalis, our internal tool for issue prioritization.

The plan was just to drop the article to my Facebook friends, set up a simple landing page with an email capture form and see the reaction. …


I first met Vitaly almost five years ago in Palo Alto when he was participating in an acceleration program at 500 Startups with a product called Concert With Me (an event recommendation service). Over the next two years, the service reached a multimillion dollar annual revenue, but then shut down due to unexpected changes in Facebook’s policies. Then the team created a new go-to-market strategy and released Tendee, a SaaS marketing automation product for the event industry. It met a product-market fit in Europe and the US and brought several large customers and reached dozens of thousands of dollars in…


And how this approach catapulted King of Thieves from disaster to global hit with 50 million players

Editor’s note: Oleg Yakubenkov is CEO of product management simulator GoPractice, has worked on some of the mobile gaming industry’s biggest hits, and spent some time as a Product Analyst at Facebook. In other words, he knows what he’s talking about.

Here are two things you’ll hear a lot from product teams:

1. A lot of data is needed to reduce uncertainty and get an accurate picture of users’ needs and behavior.

2. People working on products understand and know their users well.

The above statements are misconceptions, and in both cases, the reverse is true. In this post, I…


In the previous essay of this series, we discussed how established companies and products can grow by entering new markets through movement into adjacent dependent segments in the value chain. Today, we will talk about another growth path: building new products for an established user base.

We will explore several examples where companies have successfully — and at times, not so successfully — used this growth path. We will also try to define a set of questions that will help to make a more informed decision about choosing this vector for a particular company.

P.S. If you want to learn…


In late 2013, Fab, a fast-growing e-commerce startup that had raised $330 million in funding, realized that it had a serious problem: Its business model wasn’t working. The company started on a downward sloped that began with laying off many employees (including its co-founder). In 2015, the company, which had been valued at more than $1bn, was acquired by PCH Innovations for a mere $15 million.

What went wrong? Well, like all commercial failures, Fab’s story is complicated and unique. But one recurring theme can be seen in the demise of this once-promising startup: over-reliance on paid marketing.

In this…


I have been familiar with the concept of the value chains for quite a long time. However, it wasn’t until I read Ben Thompson’s Stratechery blog (I highly recommend reading it at https://stratechery.com/) that I came across its practical applications in market analysis. Looking at products and companies from the point of view of their position in the value chain opens up a new perspective that helps to understand them, find not-so-obvious opportunities, and make more effective decisions.

Today I’ll talk about value chains within the context of expanding an established business or product to new markets. There will be…


When conducting experiments, teams usually include all the active users in their tests, or sometimes they tend to add all the new users who join the app during this test. So when calculating the metrics for different test groups, all the data from the moment the A/B test kicks off is taken into account.

Today I’ll talk about how you can reduce the time required to get the signal on the change you are testing in a product. …

Oleg Yakubnekov

I am a product and data guy with experience in building and growing things at scale. Forbes 30 under 30

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store