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World Class Product • This
all started with a conversation I had with Reid Hoffman in 2007. • Most people start or join new companies because they think “we can do better this time.” They come to build a company. • These are the top lessons I’ve personally gained over the past two decades about product management for modern consumer software.
Prioritization: Three Buckets • Metrics
Movers These pay the bills. In the end, software that doesn’t justify itself will lose the ability to fund itself. • Customer Requests If you don’t listen to customers, they will lose faith and eventually hate you. • Delight If you don’t delight customers, you won’t inspire passion and loyalty in your users.
It’s About the Whole Product
• Can’t we find features that have all three? No. • Metrics movers are rarely requested or delightful. • Customer requests rarely move metrics or delight people. • Delight features rarely move metrics & by definition, are not requested. • Great products, however, combine all three.
Find the Heat • There
are two ways to boost engagement: lower friction or increasing desire. • Software teams love to focus on the first, and rarely dive into the second. • Exceptional experiences depend on capturing the real nuances of human interaction.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk
About Emotion • Heat is a placeholder term for emotions that drive action, both positive and negative. Emotion. Passion. Desire. • What strong emotions drive the actions in your products? • Look for “Magic Moments.”
Simple is Hard • It’s
true in design, metrics, prioritization, and strategy. • We all fear the fate of Microsoft Office. • What’s the one thing you want the user to do? • What’s the job your customers are hiring you to do? • The great gift of mobile-first design.
• Software teams tend to
focus extensively on their users. • They spend increasingly little time on people who don’t use their products. Obsess About Your Non-Users
• You have more non-users
than users. • Your brand is often determined by the way your product touches non-users. Growth Comes from Your Non-Users
• Common Product Questions: •
Should we build this? • When should we build this? • How should should we build this? Solve the Product Maze Backwards • Teams will debate “should” when the question really is “when.”
• Thinking backwards from the
future helps. • Visualize success in five years. If you have the feature at that point, you are just debating when. • Debating when is critical, but it tends to be a more objective discussion than “if.” Think Backwards from the Future
Know Your Superpower • Software
is a team sport. • Each function brings something critical & deserves respect. • Every function has a superpower when it comes to decisions. • Product - the power to frame the discussion w/ strategy & metrics. • Design - the power of visualization of possible choices. • Engineering - the power to show what is possible. • These powers require hard work & specialization.
Final Thoughts We can be
our own harshest critics. Products are never done. Behavior matters. Values matter. We are always learning, and our customers are always changing.