Friday, March 14, 2008

Interview with the Agarwalla Brothers, creators of Scrabulous - Highlights

No, not my interview. The guys from Developer Analytics conducted it (I'm starting to feel like a pimp for those guys I mention them so much.)

Anyway, you have to be a member to read the interview(conducted March 8th), so I thought I'd post a few highlights.

On scaling: ...we have re-written the code from scratch exactly four times. When you have such a high traffic load, it’s not just about adding more hardware. You need to improve your software as well to complement that.

On metrics: ...Well, in the Facebook space, the number of installs isn’t really that meaningful. Instead, we really track app activity, such as return usage. In fact, even metrics measured on a daily basis really aren’t that useful. For instance, activity drops quite a bit on the weekends and also during holidays, so it’d be much more useful to see metrics on a weekly basis. Also, it’s interesting that Facebook tracks unique adds for the current day and include them as a ‘user,’ but if a user just added an app, is he/she really a user? What is a user? Someone who uses the app 5 times? 10 times? There’s really no standard there. Another thing I’d love to see is – sure, Scrabulous has ~3 million installs, but how many of those installed users actually have come back?

On marketing: [we] haven’t spent more than $500 on marketing.

On ad networks: We use four ad networks: VideoEgg, Google Adsense, SocialMedia, and With VideoEgg, they have the highest payout by far, but they don’t have the inventory to handle the kind of impressions a game like Scrabulous gets.

On social networks: Yeah, we’ve looked at Bebo and hi5 which is coming out soon. Though honestly, we really like Facebook. We think things on the other platforms are still a bit disorganized. We really think Facebook is very clean and organized, so we think we will be there for the time being.

My favorite factoid: We [Scrabulous] currently have about 25 full-time developers.

Twenty-five full-time developers!!!! Last I checked SGN only had six employees! Though I'm sure with that 10 million in funding SGN has been doing some hiring lately.