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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