How to build a Product
Please be mindful of the fact that these are some notes I collected and found useful which I felt like sharing with the community. None of them are my originals unless mentioned. Due credits have been mentioned, please reach out in case you find any error.
The product, target user and product market fit
As a _____, I want to _____, so that I can _____.
Epics are larger story that can be further broken down into multiple smaller user stories.
Define pain points in user stories
Write contextual user stories
Total Addressable Market and Market share
Customer retention/churn rate
Product NPS score
Revenue (recurring, non-recurring), OpEx and Gross Margin
Customer acquisition cost
Growth (Revenue, Market Share)
The business works because
Keep the costs low
Have a highly technical team
Be passionate about the product
How serious is your problem?
How specifically are you solving the problem for first?
Solve a problem people need to solve regularly
How easy are your customers to find?
Does your MVP actually solve the problem?
Get users on your product early (you are not an artist)
Who are the most desperate customers, sell to them first. If it takes 10 months, they are not desperate
Whose business is going to go out of business, without your software?
Be weary of 'customers' who are taking the piss and avoid them
Be cautious with your discounts. Use discounts for urgency but do not devalue your product/service
UX interviews & usability Testing
Framework and ideas to conducting a UX Interview
Some Tips on UX Interviews by Renganathan Padmanabhan
Two types of approaches Generative (Problem to Solution) and Evaluative (Solution to Problem)
Plan backward -> set the goal -> present the design to take them to do the task: book a ride in a minute)
Probe into what's not going well -> prepare a very set questionnaire (ethics and inclusion) based on mental models user is used to
Information Presentation -> Affinity Mapping (start grouping based on themes to find patterns)
Can you tell me how would you do X task and think out loud on how will you do it? And tell me if you are not able to find anything.
Intuit Follow Me Home Follow Me Home is an Intuit practice that was started by founder Scott Cook early in the company's history. Scott Cook would wait for someone at the local Staples store to buy an Intuit product and then ask to follow the customer home to watch them install and use the product.
The Why P1: Understanding what's important to your customer
The Why P2: Aligning with company OKRs
The What: Knowing what metrics to measure vs. vanity metrics
The How: Instrumentation (adding insets to measure key events)
The Two Pillars of Growth: Acquisition & Retention Metrics
Insights (backward-facing) & Forecasting (future-facing)
Calculate/Define Feature vs. Benefit (Value)
Generic Ideation Framework
What is the goal?
Where are we now in relation to that goal?
What is the biggest problem or obstacle standing in the way of me reaching that goal?
How do I try to solve that problem?
What do I expect to happen (hypothesis)
Super important: ensure your stats are part of the build process
Should be a sources of ideas for features and solutions
Google Analytics is not optimal; you need an events based analytics solution (Mix panel...) as well
Pick 5-6 simple stats to track, don't overload yourself
Ensure you are tracking if people are using product or not
Maintain a clear spec that you are building that all team members can refer to
You need to build many things because you do not know what will work. So having short dev cycles and a good technical team is crucial. In addition, getting feedback from quick, scrappy MVPs let you know what you should be building.
Keep them short
Have a single KPI that reflects how you are doing (Money if you charge/Usage if you do not)
Ensure everyone in the company knows what the KPI is and was
Brainstorm solutions (with metrics to support/destroy ideas)
Categorise: New Features & Optimisations/Bug Features/Tests
Which hard item with impact the KPI the most
Which Medium item...
Which Easy item...
Create the spec for each item
Meet once a week or bi-weekly, enough time to get shit done
Pivot or iterate
Give your product time be properly validated
Pivot: Changing problem or Customer
Iterate: Changing the solution
Identifying the problem is the genius
Don't be fake Steve Jobs; iterate and talk to customers
Ask a specific customer what they want and make it (if it makes sense for your KPI
Product Management Framework - Train Map
Tips & Tricks
Start Medium or a blog. Product Manager is a critical thinker and the only way for thinkers to be understood and recognized is through writing.
Feature flags and release trains
Self-service model eliminates hand offs. It is great for scaling but runs on trust. This model enables you to do things yourself. However, other teams support you.
Trust > Control. You get control indirectly via trust
If everything is under control then you are going too slow
Limit blast radius and roll out to 1% of users so not everybody is impacted. Therefore, whatever happens happens to small part of product to a small number of users for a short period
A product with zero bugs is a bad product.
Healthy culture helps heal the broken process
Objective decision making overpowers subjective opinions
Know how to solve the problem instead of knowing it all
Users are the best advocates for your product. An advocate brings other users in, resolves problems, and give you actionable feedback to improve your product.
The best way to turn a user into an advocate is to enhance the user in their context.
E.g.: Instead of "I have a good camera", let the product make the user feel "I'm a good photographer!"
How do you do that?
Reduce cognitive load inherent in using your product.
Cognitive load is anything that the user has to learn or keep constantly in mind to use your product.
E.g.: A radio with lots of clearly labelled buttons is better than a radio with one streamlined button that does everything (because you have to learn/remember how it is all done).
Reduce number of choices to be made. (Related to cognitive load above).
Make it easier to focus. (Get past Brain's spam filter).
Create a sympathetic product.
Do not make any encountered difficulties the user's fault.
Give users faith that you know what it is really like to figure out your product.
Design all aspects of the product, documentation, marketing, etc., to be in line with user's experiences.
A good product roadmap is a polestar for product teams. It keeps us connected to the longer-term vision so that we don’t get lost in the day-to-day. It’s the strategic counterpart to task lists and opportunity backlogs.
Tracking competition by Shashank Mehta: Track their job openings. JDs tend to give an idea about their team structure, work type, area etc.
Pricing strategy thoughts by Amul Badjatya
Customized pricing according to who the customer is, what can we bundle to upsell/cross-sell stuff, when should we target him, with what message and what medium