How Evite Avoided Becoming Another Social Network Flop

When Victor Cho interviewed for the CEO position at Evite years ago, he was asked whether he thought the company would be another startup flop like MySpace or a business that could be of value. At the time, Evite was struggling from declining user growth after facing competition from Facebook, which had a deeply embedded event function, as well as scrappier startups such as Punchbowl. In a 2010 article, tech blog TechCrunch opined that “Evite sucks,” calling it the “MySpace of online invitation services” with a site design that was circa-1998.

After looking at some company data, Cho quickly realized that “this is actually very reparable,” he said. “The message I gave to them was that probably within two years, I should be able to stabilize the business.” How could he be so confident? “The reason I knew that was because I went through the customer experience a little in-depth and I saw how bad it was,” he said. And, also importantly, “the slope of degradation was very low for a business that had neglected its customer experience.”

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