Disclaimer: The following is a bit self-indulgent. When I reread this in 4 years, I’ll almost certainly roll my eyes at the corny zeal of the post. But if you’re one of those folks who’s into seeing how the sausage is made, enjoy.)
We launched a new version of FullStory today, and I love it so very much.
It’s super-satisfying to see our ultimate vision finally take shape. You know how it goes during the early days of building a company or product: constraints clarify and guide. Minimum Viable Product is a rational approach when time and money are in short supply.
Truth: that’s a glass-half-full view of things. The flip side: We’ve always had an ambitious, clear, and exciting product vision; doling it out piecemeal with a feature here and a feature there, well, that stinks. Such is life.
But behold, in this rev of FullStory we’ve added a massive foundational pillar. Something that we wanted since FullStory was just a twinkle in our eye. Today’s release leaps us much closer to achieving our original vision.
About that vision…
At prior jobs, we’d all suffered through “enterprise” software that was feature-bloated, maple-syrup slow, and remarkably unintuitive. But hey, at least these products were obscenely expensive. This crummy status quo has reigned supreme for decades, and has spawned painful-to-access, disparate, conflicting pockets of information in every department within a company.
We set out to change all that, aiming to reimagine business software. To make a joyous, frictionless product that is accessible to everyone in a company. To bring teams together with instant, *grok-*able data. Most of all, we wanted to build a platform to help our customers make sure that their customers were always having an amazing customer experience. The world needs better customer experiences! And it is everyone’s job (yes, yours too).
There’s more to the story.
Recently, I was at an event and someone exclaimed, *“*Hey, FullStory! Our company uses you guys. The team watches sessions all the time!” While I’ll never get tired of out-of-left-field customer compliments, the comment was somewhat bittersweet. In the eyes of the world today, FullStory is often just a “Session Playback” company. Nothing wrong with this, of course. Session playback is a powerful, empathetic medium for quickly understanding users, and we take great pride in delivering—bar none—the fastest, ajax-eating, hi-fi playbacks.
But, dammit, FullStory can do much, much more than session replay.
Think about it: in order to produce those beautiful playbacks, FullStory evolved to scalably ingest massive amounts of data — in essence, every single event for every single user.
Our founding engineering team (and many of the post-founding FullStorians) jumped ship from Google, bringing with them a crazy product ambition. Don’t just build things. Build hard things. Chase wild ideas!
So early in FullStory’s life someone proposed the outlandish idea that we index and make retroactively searchable every user event across every user. And that we make accessing data as easy and instant and intuitive as searching for a pair of shoes on Google. Today’s update to FullStory does exactly this, and I believe it signals a fundamental shift in the way companies will approach analytics.
FullStory 4 tells the next chapter in the story.
Search your customer experience like you search the web
Search is the key to unlocking all the data captured by FullStory. Without search, information’s just pouring in, session after session, forcing you to drink from an untamable firehose of data. We’ve made search better—nay, we’ve made it unlike anything in business software—because only a powerful, granular, lightning-fast search can turn data into answers, and only an easy, intuitive search fulfills the promise of answers for everyone.
FS4’s new OmniSearch feels almost consumer-y in its simplicity and gradual learning curve, and we mean that in the best possible way. Start typing anything, like “checkout” or “twitter,” and FullStory will instantly suggest completed searches to answer your question.
Never fear: in all its simplicity, OmniSearch also does complexity, better than before. In FS4, we’ve enabled you to create narrow or broad segments of customers at breakneck speed, and given you a few more tricks for getting your searches just the way you like ’em, such as the new “when the…” filter for event searches.
A new dawn for enterprise analytics.
Analytics in FullStory aren’t exactly new, but we felt they deserved much greater fanfare, so we elevated them to a more prominent position in the dashboard: directly below the userlist in your search results.
Haven’t heard about our analytics yet? There’s a veritable cornucopia of ways we’ve improved upon the traditional business-software approach to analytics:
- FullStory automatically creates visualizations for every single search you perform; there’s no need to set-up and run a manual report
- You can click on different portions of each visualization, such as slices of a pie chart, to instantly hone your search in on that segment
- FullStory surfaces answers related to your searches that you may not have thought to ask
- A concise, single-sentence explanation accompanies each graph, making them easy to digest rapidly
To the future!
If we’ve done our jobs right, the launch of FullStory 4 will question everything you know about enterprise software. Does it have to be slow and kludgey, requiring 3 months and 6 consulting engineers to implement? Should your team need hours of web-conferencing and dozens of manuals to understand even the software’s headlining feature? Must it be prohibitively expensive, locking out small- and medium-sized businesses who want access to enterprise-quality software?
At FullStory, we answer these questions with a resounding no.
And guess what? We’ve got more up our sleeve. Just you wait.