Start A Fire

October 2014 - May 2017

Start A Fire was a content marketing tool that enabled you to promote your content whenever you share links on social media. When you share a link using Start A Fire, it adds a "badge" (widget) to the link at the bottom right corner of the window, there you can recommend content to your readers. Start A Fire also provided analytics for each link you shared on social media (time on page, scroll depth, etc).

The people that used Start A Fire were social media managers (brands / agencies) and professionals.

Pain points:

  • No direct value in curated content: Social media managers don't get explicit value when they share curated content.

  • Lack of analytics: Social media managers don't know how people reacted to curated content they shared (how long did they stay on the page?).

  • Distribution of blog posts is difficult: Both for brands and bloggers it's hard to get exposure.

My Role

I worked at Start A Fire since its beginning and I had the opportunity to lead the product from an idea to 3,500 active brands and millions of weekly interactions with its widget.

I led the product/product design (UX/UI design, specifications, mockups, and design with code), market research, user analysis/user research (interviews, analytics, A/B tests, etc), front-end development, and customer support.

Since I was involved in every aspect of the product (in terms of product, design, and development), I chose to focus on three important features.

  • How Should People Use Start A Fire?

    When a social media manager wants to share a link on Twitter, she needs to get a "new" link from Start A Fire (the new link contains the brand's badge/widget with the brand's content recommendations), and share that link on Twitter.

    Once we decided to build Start A Fire one of the first missions was to interview people. We (the two founders and me) interviewed potential users in order to validate the idea of the product and understand how they use social media.

    Fit into an existing flow

    It was really important to find the best, seamless way for social media manages to use the product. Therefore, the first challenge at Start A Fire was to decide how people are going to use it. Will they use a browser extension? Bookmarklet? API? Mobile app?

    Based on the interviews, I mapped the work flow of social media managers (from the discovery phase until a link is published) in order to find the right spot: the exact point where Start A Fire would be a natural addition to the current work flow of social media managers.

    Integrations with social media tools

    Because most of the heavy social media users and social media managers use tools such as Buffer, HubSpot, HootSuite, and others, I thought that the best place to integrate Start A Fire into their work flow is right after those tools. The idea was to automate the whole process, so we'll not have to build new habits for our users.

    Once a social media manager connected her Buffer account, Start A Fire automatically added the badge to any link scheduled through Buffer.

    Over time, based on feedback from users and data (mainly Mixpanel), I improved the funnel of connecting an integration: I made it clearer how the integrations work, improved the discovery of integrations within the product itself (mostly during the signup onboarding), and more.

  • Impact

    Since the early days of Start A Fire, the integrations played a key role in the product and its growth and was a key differentiator from other competitors. Below you can see the impact it had on the product in terms of usage (how many links created - integrations vs. non-integrations).

    Blue: links created with integrations; Gray: all the rest
  • Analytics

    Start A Fire was a powerful tool for social media managers because the ability to answer questions such as how many people visited curated content you shared (e.g. an article on The New York Times), how many people scrolled to the bottom of the articles, how much time did they stay in the article, and more.

    Therefore, the default screen of Start A Fire was an analytics dashboard, where a social media manager could see all the relevant data related to her links.

    For each link, you can also get in-depth analytics (scroll depth, time on page, etc).

  • Start A Fire Badge

    When you use Start A Fire, you can add a "badge" to any link you share. The badge contains content recommendations from your blog, so while sharing links to other sites, you can also suggest your audience what to read next.

    The badge was the most challenging mission, as we wanted it to be effective (visible to the user with a good click rate), but it was also important to keep it simple, clean and non-intrusive. Millions of people interacted with it every week, and I constantly changed and improved it based on feedback, data, and A/B tests.

    Below are some iterations of the mobile badge over time. For each version, I also did minor and quick iterations based on data and feedback from users.

    Mobile badge
    Desktop badge
Back