All related (9)
Lizzy Masotta
Senior Product Lead, Shopify | Formerly Salesforce, Google, Nest, Cisco SystemsMarch 28

Don’t forget about marketing, positioning and acquisition of customers as a key part in your differentiation strategy. 

It’s easy for Product Managers to solely focus on the bits and bytes of how the product works once someone’s in it, but if you cannot acquire or entice new customers - you need to move your differentiation focus further up the funnel. 

Is your product too hard to set up or use? Does it take a long time for users to see value in your product? 

It’s key to partner with sales, product marketing, support and solution engineering to get the full picture here.

Kara Gillis
Sr. Director of Product Management, SplunkMay 31

I'll keep this one rather brief.

I find that some product managers do not always listen to their customers and their problems as the guiding light for improving and differentiating their products. Instead, they fall in love with a shiny new piece of technology that may not be solving a critical problem.

Milena Krasteva
Sr Director II, Product Management, WalmartMarch 31

Sustainable Competitive Advantage.

1. Product attributes are insufficient and can be replicated by competitors with enough investment and determination

2. Pricing models and all their nuances can be undercut. Customers' willingness to pay may be negated by the next recession or evaporate when a new shinier, cooler competitor product arrives

3. Human capital, though harder to build up and retain, can still be hired away from you. Everybody has a price.

So, what makes for sustainable competitive advantage? Leveraging economics of scale but more so economies of scope, driving flywheel type effects (positive network externalities), preferred access to resources or markets, etc

Kara Gillis
Sr. Director of Product Management, Splunk
While it is important to care about your competitors to understand your own market position, DO NOT MAKE THEM THE FOCUS. What should be your focus? Your customers. Their problems. Their needs, their asks, their feedback.  Think of your roadmap like a budget of your resources, the way you would a household budget. Break down the budget by importance.  For a product that has been out in the market a bit, I break down my ideal roadmap budget into the following percentages: 50% feature enhancements 20% net new features 15% compliance/security improvements 15% tech debt improvemen...
Wade G. Morgan
Product Strategy & Operations Lead, Airtable
For us, product strategy stems from company strategy, so it's first important to have a firm grasp on where the company strategy is headed holistacally, and why. Additionally, we serve as a partner function for the entire ProdDev org, so rather than owning a specific segment of the product, we're responsible for helping the company zoom out a bit to identify key areas that could make sense to invest in.  As a result, when working with our exec team it's critical to understand both the company strategy & priorities, functional strategy & priorities, as well as the audience we're communicati...
Sandeep Rajan
Product Lead, Member Experience, Patreon
First, define "right" by establishing clear goals – is it product-market fit? Is it growing an existing product to a certain milestone? These will help you determine the right form of validation to apply to each stage.  For products that haven't yet achieved market fit, early & rapid customer feedback cycles are the best form of validation I've seen – push your target users to tell you over & over again in surveys & interviews that what you're building is something they must have, ideally by getting them to sign up or even pay you before you've even built it.  Once you have a clear sense ...
Lizzy Masotta
Senior Product Lead, Shopify | Formerly Salesforce, Google, Nest, Cisco Systems
I love this question. Through my work at both Salesforce and Shopify this is something that comes up regularly because of our platform and healthy partner ecosystem.  1. Do the majority of my users need this? 2. Are there problems with the partner meeting the needs of users today? 3. Do we have the expertise and staffing to build this? 4. Would building this natively unlock new value, new opportunity or a new market? If the answers to questions 1-3 are yes, then it warrants a discussion with your team. The key question that decides the outcome here is #4.  Is it worthwhile for ...
Bhaskar Krishnan
Product Leadership, Meta | Formerly Stripe, Flipkart, Yahoo
* Hybrid products are exponentially harder to build than pure software products. Software can be updated via the cloud, at any time and with any frequency but hardware cannot * The form factor, the physical functionality, etc of a hybrid product need way more thought, user testing and context than the software. For instance, the physical components of the Tesla 3, the sensors, cameras, etc are paramount compared to the Maps, Apple Carplay integration or self-driving updates that can be done through the cloud  * Context, background and living with the problem are the key...
Sriram Iyer
GM / Head of Products and Partnerships, Adobe DVA, Adobe | Formerly Salesforce, Deloitte
Metrics are absolutely necessary when building your vision board. As you think of metrics, think of what will really define success? And how will we as a team measure success? Here are a few examples of key questions teams try to answer as they think of crafting metrics for their vision canvas -  1. What KPIs will you use to define success? 2. What are your product goals and outcomes? 3. What are your quality goals and outcomes? (Performance and Stability goals for example) 4. How will you measure progress toward these goals? 5. How will you communicate progress towards these goals? ...