Paula Marttila

People. Product. Growth.

Data Collection Practices and Privacy Policy as Part of Successful Customer Acquisition

Reasons are many and vary why your leads aren’t converting to downloads, aren’t converting to sign-ups, aren’t converting to repeat users, aren’t making your cohort analysis graphs look astonishing, thus the lack of sleep is not making you look good. You’re starting to feel discouraged when browsing through yet another great growth hacking advice.

One of the not too obvious places to look when struggling with conversion is your data collection practices and privacy policy. Part of taking privacy, and security, seriously is not collecting and storing unnecessary private customer data. With enterprise sales, trust and reputation rank high, and data collection practices and privacy play even more central role. Trust takes a long time to earn, but no time lose – even if you hadn’t played dirty: Auf Wiedersehen VW

Below I list few reasons why I find storing any private customer data not required by an application, specifically an enterprise one, as a concern from a business point of view. While the reasons are all both obvious and no-brainers, I hope they can serve as mental notification alerts when crafting your data collection practices and privacy policy.

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Startups, Your Best Card Hand To Stay Out Of Deadpool

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Now that basically everyone can start an Internet company, and with more funding alternatives available than ever before, what challenges and requirements do new startups face? When everything’s also “100-percent mobile, cloud, and social“? When ideas are commodity and execution is everything?

Read lots of great books and talked to smart people. That’s kind of how one learns anything.”: Elon Musk when asked how he learned to build a SpaceX rocket.

Entrepreneurship is learning by doing, but just like Elon, one needs to read up. I’ve put together a collection of posts from smart people (from the past year or so), that I frequently find myself passing on to entrepreneurs. 25 posts filled with exceptional advice and thoughts to help you from getting slaughtered, whether it’s mobile, consumer, marketplace, hardware, or SaaS startup you’re building. Would you already have read them all, congratulations on great cherry picking, and please pass on to your fellow entrepreneur who might be struggling! Ps. Reading the quotes only doesn’t qualify :)

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Venture Capital 101 [I’m a VC – Who Are You?]

More and more aspiring Internet technology entrepreneurs are coming from various non technical backgrounds, i.e. kids  not grown up on Hacker News. Google “Raising money for your startup“, and the overwhelming ambiguous results will leave you confused whether or not to raise funding at all. At best one finds herself in deep waters with topics like Series A crunch, Valuation bubbles, or whether Angellist Syndicates are good or bad for the industry? Huh?!

Hell, even kids on the Hacker News find themselves lost in the fundraising jungle. Why I put together: “I’m a VC – Who Are You? Venture Capital 101“. It explains to an audience new to fundraising the essentials of venture capital, early stage funding alternatives, and the difference between good and bad VC.  Once you’re able to nod and laugh at the lyrics, not just to the costumes and dance moves in “I’m a VC” by Foundry Group, you’ve graduated in the basics :)

Scroll down for updated summary incl. links, reading list, extra material (!) from Scott Sage, and the graduation video.

I first gave this talk to Interactive Communications students at Berghs School of Communications in Stockholm, March 11th 2013.

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Get Out of Your Comfort Zone And Have A Story – Interview in Estonian Äripäev

Earlier this year I was invited by StartSmart to Tallinn, Estonia, to talk about Storytelling, Inbound Marketing and Growth Hacking (Slidehare, YouTube) to budding entrepreneurs at Marketing & Metrics Day. While in town, I was interviewed by Äripäev, leading Estonian financial newspaper, about Internet startups and women in tech. It includes few tips to startups on how to get noticed early on, so I took the liberty to translate it loosely with help of Google Translate, along with few additions and corrections*. (Tip: Even with recorded, in person interviews, facts still get easily mixed up. Try get preview/translation whenever possible.)


Greetings from Dave McClure to #Estonianmafia found at Garage48 Hub. Few tips while you’re working to “Crush it”:

6 advice to (Estonian) startups on how to get noticed as young startup

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Stay Humble – Help A Sister Out: Rails Girls, Geek Girl Meetup, Berlin Geekettes, Girl Geek Dinners And Girls in Tech UK


Flickr CC: Photo1, Photo2, Photo3 

Inspired by the greatest meme to date, Texts From Hillary I made a photo serie to remind us of all the work still left to be done for women in tech. Even if we already rule the Internet.

I have been a woman in tech for the past 12 years. It’s been a thrill from the day one, and I wouldn’t change the experience for the world. At age of 34 I didn’t go to work with risk management and international marketing, instead I went on to develop the first online CMS for the largest newspaper in the Nordics. May seem naive today, but back then it never even occured to me, that tech still was a men’s world. Add traditional media heritage, and I was headed to throw myself against thick glass ceilings.I also came to learn that power has no gender.

Continue reading “Stay Humble – Help A Sister Out: Rails Girls, Geek Girl Meetup, Berlin Geekettes, Girl Geek Dinners And Girls in Tech UK”

Cornerstones of Successful Customer Acquisition When Introducing New Customer Behaviour

Flickr CC: chintermeyer

Changing existing habits is hard, it’s a human condition. “There’s an app for that” to fix all that isn’t that far from the truth either. We can get reminded to wear the bike helmet, take back-ups, monitor our diet and exercise, and yet… no helmet, no back-up, that late night burger with extra fries and mayo… skipping the morning run.

I find the slide below from Internet Trends 2012, by the always #mustread Mary Meeker of KPCB, as a great example of how fast a whole new customer behavior can be createdNumber of app downloads overtook number of music downloads only three years after App Store launched.


The rise of app store has naturally much to do with timing, having cheap scalable digital infrastructure in place, secure online payments, and growing number of affordable mobile devices addressing the always accessible customer. So, now that we have all set for the perfect storm to create new customer facing businesses, how to catch the wave and win customers over?

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