Set yourself up for Yes, says Edmodo's Julia Gitis.
In Summary: Julia outlines the key takeaways from 2 recent conferences which focussed on Product Management and Growth. Lesson one? Crafting the right message and telling your story should be the first step in product development.
Products often focus on driving users to their site or app using emails and push notifications. The challenge is how to make them meaningful rather than annoying. Most experts believe the answer is to make 100% of the language about the user, rather than your company.
Likewise, products often make the mistake of jumping to the sales pitch too quickly. Instead they should focus on the Desirable Preceding Action (DPA). The DPA is the step the users take before they say yes to using your product. PMs need to work out where they want users to be when they decide to use the product, then concentrate on getting them there.
Onboarding remains a vital aspect of any product experience. What does it mean exactly? Casey Winters sums it up best: "Get people to the core value your product provides as fast as possible (but not faster)."
Too many startups hurt themselves by focusing on growth too soon, says Y Combinator's Sam Altman.
In Summary: It might sound obvious, but, if you focus on trying to grow before you have a product people love, you are unlikely to succeed.
It's amazing how many startups raise money to invest in growth before getting the basics in place. Focusing on growth before you have a product people love means you'll have to rely on adverts, marketing or PR to maintain your growth, and this gets very hard to sustain.
If you first make sure your product is loved, your users essentially become a free marketing and sales force for you.
Sam's advice? If you’re just starting out, take the time to build a product your users love. If you’re already growing a company around a mediocre product, fix it now. The larger you grow, the harder it becomes to course correct.
After a decade of consulting in the space, Jay Haynes has established Thrv, the first platform for building products around a Job-to-be-Done.
In Summary Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) is becoming more significant than ever as a framework for product development. As Product Managers, our job is to satisfy customer needs better than competitors in the market.
But what exactly is a customer need? Customer needs are independent of any product (or technology). According to Jay, customer needs are metrics which people use to judge how quickly they can execute a particular job.
The job tells the story of how a customer struggles to achieve a task or goal. Jay emphasises how complex customers needs can be. For example, selling a used car to another person is a job that has 104 customer needs.
Jay concedes that JTBD is better suited to jobs with high utility and low emotion. If there is great functional complexity, JTBD is great for helping PMs figure out what their customers' needs are.
A project has a defined scope and a definitive start and end. But a product is never done, says Castle's Chris Bradle.
In Summary: Startups can easily survive without project managers. But, without the strategic leadership and market insights provided by a Product Manager, they can find their product (and the entire company) wandering around in the desert.
While projects have a simple start and end delivery date, products are shipped in parts during a delivery cycle that never ends.
The ongoing life cycle for products is important to understand. A typical product can reach launch within 12 months but reaching a level of maturity can take 2-3 years. If you treat your product like a project you will overlook this.
The day you launch your product, you need to be ready for a continuous delivery cycle. Listen, observe, plan, design, build, ship... repeat. This process, like your product, is never complete.