Don't confuse Table Stakes with Differentiators says Twitter's Ameet Ranadive.
In Summary: Part of a Product Manager's job is to pick winning features and Ameet provides a framework for doing just that.
PMs should start by analysing the 'customer value' versus the 'uniqueness' of a potential feature then prioritise those that are high customer value and unique. These are 'Differentiators', worth investing in from a strategic standpoint. When considering a Differentiator, try to identify 'Proprietary' ones over 'First-to-Market' where possible.
It's important to avoid the classic trap of building 'Who Cares?' features which are differentiated but of low value. Likewise, avoid chasing parity features just because competitors have them.
Late-stage retention strategies from Appcues.
In Summary: After putting in the effort to acquire customers and get them engaged, you don’t want to throw it all away by assuming they'll stay that way. Every unengaged customer is in danger of churning.
Once the excitement of a new app has worn off, Product Managers need to concentrate on celebrating users' progress and effectively reminding them about the long-term value their product brings. This means celebrating user achievements, reminding them of the product's impact and deepening its relationship with them.
This post deep dives into the specific of how to do this (from giving beta-tests to the best customers to throwing a full blown party) and reminds PMs that our customers' success and our success are one and the same.
Usenotion's Laure on reducing the cognitive bias we bring to our product decisions.
In summary: Reviewing Chip and Dan Heath's new book (Decisive) about effective decision-making, Laure outlines how the lessons they share are directly applicable to making great products.
When your team approaches a decision framed as, “should we do this or not?” you should sound the alarm. The best teams always widen their horizons beyond “Should we do this?” and the best decisions are made among 2–3 choices.
We tend to gravitate towards ideas that confirm our existing thoughts. But, to make great decisions, you need to develop techniques to spark constructive disagreements within your team. Try making deliberate “mistakes” or consider outcomes that might arise if mistakes were made.
Fleeting emotions tempt us to to make bad long-term decisions, but there are techniques to deal with this. Try 10/10/10 analysis, where you imagine what the results of your decision could be in 10 minutes, 10 months or 10 years.
Many poor decisions result from overconfidence. If you don’t consider negative or alternate outcomes, you may be blindsided, an important factor when deciding how to assign limited team resources.
Avoid snacking, says Intercom's Des Traynor.
In Summary: Hunter Walk once advised the Product Team at Intercom on the importance of avoiding low effort / low impact work.
Whilst most Product Managers are sensible enough to avoid high-effort, low-impact work in favour of low-effort, high impact work, it's easy to over-invest time completing low effort, low impact work.
This work is superficially attractive as it 'only takes 30 minutes' and delivers frequent output but can easily become a trap. Hunter calls this work 'snacking' and warns PMs against it.
If you want to have a high impact team stay away from low impact work. Eat, don’t snack.
John Cutler has the formula.
In Summary: From the importance of bridging silos and minimising dependencies, to shortening the distance between the Product Team and the customer, John Cutler lists how Product Managers can optimise for product success.
But remember: teams are smart. It's much more effective to set broad goals and let them work out the 'how.'