Squarespace: Can Friendly Competition Lead to Better Models?

engineering.squarespace.com

During Squarespace’s most recent Hack Week, we experimented with a different approach to model building: an internal Kaggle competition. (...) For our internal competition, we wanted to predict subscription rates of customers who start a free trial on Squarespace. The dataset for this competition included anonymized information on customers’ marketing channels, geographic locations, product usage, previous trials, and, of course, whether or not the customers subscribed to Squarespace within 28 days of starting a trial.

This is neat. This isn't an approach that most companies can take—most of the companies simply don't have the internal resources that would make this worthwhile, and the author admits that it's not a particularly efficient way of getting a task done. But if you have an important algorithm problem where the solution would be worth $$$ to the business, this strategy is a worth consideration.

Mark, if you're reading—you didn't share the results! How did it go? Are you using any of the models?

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