Learning what works and what doesn’t.

Tony Forcucci
6 min readNov 22, 2023

Launch, test, see, learn, adapt.

This is Part 5 of 6. You can pick up the story at the beginning here.

Photo by Trey Ratcliff of stuckincustoms.com

Now that we had 50 of the 100 cities open and over 1,000 restaurants showcased on the site, we started to have a real, living experiment in place where instead of guessing what we think might work, we could actually now see and know what worked — and what wasn’t.

There were three crucial lessons we learned by doing.

Let me go back a step.

When we designed the city page for onehundredtables.com the idea was to visually present the restaurants in the city in a way that the user could immediately see them all in one shot (as opposed to forcing the user as on some other sites to look at 4,352 restaurants in some city across 400 pages — of which they’ll never get to.

Our vision was one city, one page, and see it all easily.

Also, on the city page of a matrix of 10 squares across by 10 squares down each square was sold on a first come, first choice basis. So if you were the first restaurant in the city you had the first pick on any of the 100 squares on the city page.

A city filling up was good but still felt too empty

Our thinking was that in the early stages of filling a city customers would select the first square first, then perhaps the second square on the top row, then perhaps the top row would fill out, then the four corners and so on until the whole city page was completed with restaurants.

Then as each city would fill up and say there’d be 95 sold spots with 5 left, then you would be into a situation of “do I do it or not?” — well of course you do it because if it was a no-brainer before, at this stage it was really a no-brainer now to not be excluded from the collection of great places to eat in your city.

But even there what we learned was that at this stage some restaurants might have thought that they were too late and “missed” the best spots as it were. While that was not accurate, if that was the perception then we had to deal…

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Tony Forcucci

I share travel, business, and rational thought stories from experiencing a lot of the world up close. tonyforcucci.com