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Fred Wilson: Speed is the most important feature

by / Monday, 04 April 2011 / Published in Industry News

If you read this blog you are most certainly involved in some kind of web based business. And if so, you will find “Fred Wilson’s 10 Golden Principles of Successful Web Apps” a very interesting talk. I know I did. Fred is a New York based tech investor and he spoke at the annual Future of Web Apps Miami conference. 
fred wilson avc

In this post I focus on Fred Wilson’s number one principle:

First and foremost, we believe that speed is more than a feature. Speed is the most important feature. If your application is slow, people won’t use it. I see this more with mainstream users than I do with power users. I think that power users sometimes have a bit of sympathetic eye to the challenges of building really fast web apps, and maybe they’re willing to live with it, but when I look at my wife and kids, they’re my mainstream view of the world. If something is slow, they’re just gone.

speed most important feature for web apps
We think that the application has to be fast, and if it’s not, you can see what happens. We have every single one of our portfolio company services on Pingdom, and we take a look at that every week. When we see some of our portfolio company’s applications getting bogged down, we also note that they don’t grow as quickly. There is real empirical evidence that substantiates the fact that speed is more than a feature. It’s a requirement.”

You can read the complete transcript of the talk here. Fred Wilson also runs his own blog.

It should be no secret why I agree with Fred Wilson: Here at AlertFox our job is to help you to do exactly this: Monitor, measure and improve your website speed. However, for any site of even moderate complexity, website speed is not the same as page load speed that classic monitoring measures: 

Simple page load speed is not a good indicator of the true user experience. That is why you need to measure the true website speed that a user “feels”. The best way to do so is to measure the performance of for complete multi-step step transactions e. g. a login, a search or a purchase. The nature of the transaction depends on the purpose of your website. If you have not done so yet, please go ahead and set up your browser-based real-user monitoring check today!

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