Managing
Product
Platforms
Best Practices for Creating
Value and Network Effects
Michael Salerno, Product Management, Cohe...
About This Session’s Presenter
O Product Management at Healthcare startup Cohealo
O Co-founder Boston Product Management A...
What is a Product Platform?
O A Product Platform is a system of services and
interfaces that connects:
O The platform must...
Product Platforms
Take Many Forms
Platform Produce/Consume
Care.com Helps families find child care, senior
care, special n...
The Good and The Bad
O Fact: Industries are increasingly being
disrupted by product platforms.
O Evidence: iTunes, Amazon,...
What are Your Unique
Challenges?
Start with the Core Value Unit1
O YouTube hosts (production) and viewing (consumption) of videos.
O Kickstarter hosts (pro...
Interactions That Build Value
•Create Listing, UploadCreation
•Search, View, TransactConsumption
•Rate, Report, or Third-P...
Airbnb.com Example
Curation includes participation with third-party services (i.e. photographers).
Critical Interactions
Network Effects
O As a product platform
attracts more users, it
becomes more valuable to
those users.
O When a network eff...
What Do We Measure?
O Creation
Metrics
Remember, if done properly, Curation can provide an Unfair Advantage!
O Curation
Me...
Summary
O The commercial success of a Product Platform
isn’t about its technology.
O Interactions around the Core Value Un...
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Managing Product Platforms: Best Practices for Creating Value and Network Effects (Michael Salerno) ProductCamp Boston 2014

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YouTube brings video creators and viewers together. KickStarter brings those seeking funding together with investors. eBay brings buyers and sellers together and facilitates transactions. Quora helps users interact to ask and answer questions. Twitter, WhatsApp, Airbnb, Uber, Wikipedia, PayPal, the list goes on…

These are examples of products that connect “those that produce something” with “those that consume something”? If your product fits this general definition, welcome to the world of Product Platforms.

Without users, there’s no value and without value, users just won’t show up. So how do you solve this problem and manage for growth?
When it comes to platforms, the technology often isn’t the reason people use it. Let’s talk about the product management of real value creation that will lead to platform success, whether you have millions of users or just starting out.

The heart of this discussion includes the use of platform metrics to manage this business model and ultimately lead product managers to drive tangible platform growth.

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  • Hello!very nice deck!!I had a question though..in slide 8 what do you mean by Third-party source under the Curation category?
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Managing Product Platforms: Best Practices for Creating Value and Network Effects (Michael Salerno) ProductCamp Boston 2014

  1. 1. Managing Product Platforms Best Practices for Creating Value and Network Effects Michael Salerno, Product Management, Cohealo, Inc.
  2. 2. About This Session’s Presenter O Product Management at Healthcare startup Cohealo O Co-founder Boston Product Management Association O New Venture Advisor for start-ups competing at Boston University and University of Massachusetts O Lean Startup Challenge Mentor O Expertise in Enterprise Product Management
  3. 3. What is a Product Platform? O A Product Platform is a system of services and interfaces that connects: O The platform must add value by using data to match producers and consumers and provide tools to facilitate repeatable and frictionless interactions. “Those that produce (or own) something of value” “Those in need to consume something of matching value” With
  4. 4. Product Platforms Take Many Forms Platform Produce/Consume Care.com Helps families find child care, senior care, special needs care, pet care, etc. Quantopian Custom trading algorithms StackOverflow Question and answers for programmers Coursera Free Online University Courses Covestor Mirrors Portfolio Manager's trading in your own account
  5. 5. The Good and The Bad O Fact: Industries are increasingly being disrupted by product platforms. O Evidence: iTunes, Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, Coursera, Wikipedia, YouTube all disrupted existing industries. O The Reality: Many businesses building new product platforms result in failure. Why?
  6. 6. What are Your Unique Challenges?
  7. 7. Start with the Core Value Unit1 O YouTube hosts (production) and viewing (consumption) of videos. O Kickstarter hosts (production) and backing (consumption) of projects! O Twitter enables the creation (production) and consumption of tweets! O Etsy facilitates selling (production) and buying (consumption) actual physical products leveraging information about them (listings)! O Uber enables booking a car leveraging information (car availability) to match producers (taxi drivers) with consumers (taxi seekers)!1Sangeet Paul Choudary, Platform Thinking
  8. 8. Interactions That Build Value •Create Listing, UploadCreation •Search, View, TransactConsumption •Rate, Report, or Third-Party Source Curation Curation directly improves Quality for the purpose of increasing Creation or Consumption Quantity
  9. 9. Airbnb.com Example Curation includes participation with third-party services (i.e. photographers). Critical Interactions
  10. 10. Network Effects O As a product platform attracts more users, it becomes more valuable to those users. O When a network effect is present, the value of a product or service is dependent on the number of others using it. O To achieve network effects, focus on increasing the value of the Core Value Unit.
  11. 11. What Do We Measure? O Creation Metrics Remember, if done properly, Curation can provide an Unfair Advantage! O Curation Metrics O Consumption Metrics
  12. 12. Summary O The commercial success of a Product Platform isn’t about its technology. O Interactions around the Core Value Unit is the source of value creation of the platform. O Curation is often the most overlooked activity, yet highly critical to commercial success. O Measure Product Platform health through Creation, Consumption and Curation metrics.

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