StumbleUpon has long been a popular service amongst SEO geeks and bloggers alike who have used the service to generate more traffic and backlinks to their sites. The service made a few changes which did not bode well for them causing an initial drop when they went after a Pinterest-like user interface which started the traffic decline.
In May of this year Garrett Camp, one of StumbleUpon’s co-founders left the company and since his departure things have continued to spiral downhill.
This may be a great example of when a company makes a change that they think users will love only to find-out that people hate it and thus users end up heading for the hills. As many of you know I’m a big fan of the Lean Startup Methodology which focuses heavily on customer development, it is this practice that could have showed StumbleUpon early-on that their new interface is not what customers wanted but instead what their product managers “assumed” people wanted.
Lean is all about validating your assumptions because until you do, they’re just assumptions and there’s nothing worse than paying a ton of developers and designers to work on something that nobody wants…just ask Microsoft, they’ve been doing it for years 🙂
I’d be interested to know if any of my readers have been using StumbleUpon over the last few years and what they think of the changes and impact these changes have had on the traffic that StumbleUpon sends to their site(s).
You can read more about this decline and some great data to boot on TechCrunch.