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You Don’t Need Big Data. Here’s What My Company Does Instead

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Big data is a hot topic. Data scientists are in high demand. Companies from Facebook to Uber to Netflix are crunching big data to determine how to influence human behavior (like Netflix and Uber), figure out the right balance of advertising to organic feed (like Facebook) among many other things.  But when you’re a start-up, particularly one in its first year, forget big data. You’re struggling to have any data. Here’s how my company, Little Passports, made key decisions when we had very little data to work with.

One of the biggest decision sets to make in the first year of a start-up is around developing your product. What product are you offering? What should the product look like? What features should it have? How should it be priced? Who should you target? What’s a measure of success? When we developed our first product, we were truly innovating in our space. We were looking to create a monthly subscription for children that introduces them to a new country every month. There were no significant competitors to look to for ideas on what customers like or don’t like.

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