Pareto’s Principle at Play in Polyvore

One of Fred Wilson’s great insights is the importance of mobile first design — mobile form factor constraints force design simplicity. This insight remains valid despite recent criticisms of a mobile first, web second strategy.


The above graph is a good illustration of this insight. The graph shows access distribution to Polyvore’s endpoints (I have removed the scales and endpoint names). We compiled this data using Splunk during a recent audit of our services to identify places where we could simplify.

The bulk of Polyvore’s activity is concentrated over a handful of endpoints. The 50th endpoint barely registers on the graph and I am embarrassed to confess that we have 630+ endpoints and only the first 100 are plotted :(

This graph tells me that our product could be far simpler and still deliver the bulk of its utility to most of our users. In fact, this is exactly what is happening in our recently launched iOS app.

The best part about simplifying products is that it allows concentration of effort on improving the parts that are used the most. Going deep is a better long term strategy than going wide.


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