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Lessons from 'Duolingo': How to Turn Good Intentions Into Good Numbers

Karin Tsai  (Engineering Director, Duolingo)

Date: Wednesday, August 5

Time: 7:00am - 7:30am

Pass Type: Conference Pass, Discovery Pass, Community Pass, Student Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Advocacy, Production & Team Management

Format: Community Content

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Duolingo is the most downloaded and top grossing education app on iOS and Android, with over 300 million users. It's the most popular way to learn a language online. Every day, it makes choices between making a ton of money vs. keeping learning content free, making the app easier to drive up engagement vs. really teaching a language well, gamifying things and making the app more addictive vs. ensuring it's a healthy app for our users to use. In this talk, Karin Tsai will explain how Duolingo not only evolved processes to keep its mission and culture while still continuing to grow and produce great metrics wins, but discovered that it was a good business decision to do so. Attendees will get insights from seven years' worth of A/B tests of surprising findings, product insights, and difficult decisions.


Attendees will learn best practices for setting up a metrics framework, surprising A/B test results, and applicable takeaways on scaling decision-making, especially with incomplete or unobtainable data. This talk will be a half hour of knowledge-sharing from seven years of lessons learned at the most popular education startup.

Intended Audience

Good people who want to make good products. The lecture's takeaways will be most applicable to those in decision-making positions or who work on how to structure data-driven processes in an organization. However, there will be insights from experiments that will be applicable to anyone who works on a consumer-facing product.