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New is Easy but Right is Hard: Hacking Product Management

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Talk given on 15 Nov 2013, in Hackers & Painters (http://http://hackersandpainters.sg/), Singapore @ Blk 71. …

Talk given on 15 Nov 2013, in Hackers & Painters (http://http://hackersandpainters.sg/), Singapore @ Blk 71.

Synopsis: A great product is a synthesis of technology and business thinking. How do we decide what goes into the product and determine the roadmap of the product? How do we establish the balance between the business and technology of the product? In this session, we discuss some interesting lessons learned on product management and why both business leaders and technologists don't get it.

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  • 1. New is Easy but Right is Hard Hacking Product Management Bernard Leong @bleongcw http://www.bernardleong.com 1
  • 2. Outline 2
  • 3. Outline Product Management in a nutshell 2
  • 4. Outline Product Management in a nutshell A Product Manager’s nightmare 2
  • 5. Outline Product Management in a nutshell A Product Manager’s nightmare Good and Bad Product Managers 2
  • 6. Outline Product Management in a nutshell A Product Manager’s nightmare Good and Bad Product Managers Hacking Product Management: How do we decide the product roadmap? 2
  • 7. Outline Product Management in a nutshell A Product Manager’s nightmare Hacking Product Management: How do we decide the product roadmap? Good and Bad Product Managers My Three Tales on Product Management 2
  • 8. Outline Product Management in a nutshell A Product Manager’s nightmare Good and Bad Product Managers Hacking Product Management: How do we decide the product roadmap? My Three Tales on Product Management Q&A 2
  • 9. What does a product manager do? 3
  • 10. What does a product manager do? Business Strategy, Market Analysis & Segmentation, Risks & Competitor Analysis 3
  • 11. What does a product manager do? Business Strategy, Market Analysis & Segmentation, Risks & Competitor Analysis Customer Sales, Growth & Feedback 3
  • 12. What does a product manager do? Business Strategy, Market Analysis & Segmentation, Risks & Competitor Analysis Customer Sales, Growth & Feedback Product Development, Engineering & Roadmap 3
  • 13. What does a product manager do? Business Strategy, Market Analysis & Segmentation, Risks & Competitor Analysis Customer Sales, Growth & Feedback Product Development, Engineering & Roadmap Financials Management Profit & Loss (P&L) 3
  • 14. What does a product manager do? Business Strategy, Market Analysis & Segmentation, Risks & Competitor Analysis Customer Sales, Growth & Feedback Financials Management Profit & Loss (P&L) Marketing Product Development, Engineering & Roadmap 3
  • 15. What does a product manager do? Business Strategy, Market Analysis & Segmentation, Risks & Competitor Analysis Customer Sales, Growth & Feedback Product Development, Engineering & Roadmap Financials Management Profit & Loss (P&L) Marketing Team Execution 3
  • 16. What does a product manager do? Business Strategy, Market Analysis & Segmentation, Risks & Competitor Analysis Customer Sales, Growth & Feedback Product Development, Engineering & Roadmap Financials Management Profit & Loss (P&L) Marketing Team Execution In a startup, the CEO is the product manager. 3
  • 17. The Chasm of Product Management Chasm Business Technology/ Engineering 4
  • 18. The Chasm of Product Management Customers say that we need X features. Business Chasm Technology/ Engineering 4
  • 19. The Chasm of Product Management Customers say that we need X features. Business Chasm I build & they will come. Technology/ Engineering 4
  • 20. The Chasm of Product Management Customers say that we need X features. Chasm I build & they will come. It should be easy to build X features. Business Technology/ Engineering 4
  • 21. The Chasm of Product Management Customers say that we need X features. It should be easy to build X features. Business Chasm I build & they will come. I insist that X has to be built this way. Technology/ Engineering 4
  • 22. The Chasm of Product Management Customers say that we need X features. Chasm I insist that X has to be built this way. It should be easy to build X features. Business I build & they will come. We need X features by tomorrow! Technology/ Engineering 4
  • 23. The Chasm of Product Management Customers say that we need X features. Chasm I insist that X has to be built this way. It should be easy to build X features. Business I build & they will come. We need X features by tomorrow! It’s just too much work for my engineering team. Technology/ Engineering 4
  • 24. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 5
  • 25. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 5
  • 26. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 5
  • 27. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 5
  • 28. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 6
  • 29. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 6
  • 30. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 6
  • 31. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 6
  • 32. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 7
  • 33. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 7
  • 34. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 7
  • 35. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 7
  • 36. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 8
  • 37. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 8
  • 38. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 8
  • 39. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 8
  • 40. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 9
  • 41. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 9
  • 42. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 9
  • 43. A Product Manager’s Worst Nightmare Source: Project Cartoon http://www.projectcartoon.com 9
  • 44. But where’s the balance? 10
  • 45. Good Product Manager Bad Product Manager 11
  • 46. Good Product Manager Bad Product Manager Understands the market, product & competition 11
  • 47. Good Product Manager Understands the market, product & competition Bad Product Manager Lack of knowledge about the market 11
  • 48. Good Product Manager Understands the market, product & competition Takes full responsibility Bad Product Manager Lack of knowledge about the market 11
  • 49. Good Product Manager Understands the market, product & competition Takes full responsibility Bad Product Manager Lack of knowledge about the market Makes lots of excuses when things fail 11
  • 50. Good Product Manager Understands the market, product & competition Takes full responsibility Bad Product Manager Lack of knowledge about the market Makes lots of excuses when things fail Good Execution according to Plan & disciplined in updating everyone 11
  • 51. Good Product Manager Understands the market, product & competition Good Execution according to Plan & disciplined in updating everyone Takes full responsibility Bad Product Manager Lack of knowledge about the market Makes lots of excuses when things fail Always fail to meet timelines & milestones 11
  • 52. Good Product Manager Bad Product Manager Understands the market, product & competition Takes full responsibility Lack of knowledge about the market Good Execution according to Plan & disciplined in updating everyone Figures out the direction of the product Makes lots of excuses when things fail Always fail to meet timelines & milestones 11
  • 53. Good Product Manager Understands the market, product & competition Good Execution according to Plan & disciplined in updating everyone Takes full responsibility Figures out the direction of the product Bad Product Manager Lack of knowledge about the market Makes lots of excuses when things fail Always fail to meet timelines & milestones Have no clue to where the product should go & lack of discipline not to provide status updates to everyone 11
  • 54. Good Product Manager Bad Product Manager 12
  • 55. Good Product Manager Bad Product Manager Manages time for different aspects appropriately 12
  • 56. Good Product Manager Manages time for different aspects appropriately Bad Product Manager Lost all the time to firefighting 12
  • 57. Good Product Manager Manages time for different aspects appropriately Prepares good documentation: marketing collaterals, FAQs, presentations & white papers Bad Product Manager Lost all the time to firefighting 12
  • 58. Good Product Manager Manages time for different aspects appropriately Prepares good documentation: marketing collaterals, FAQs, presentations & white papers Bad Product Manager Lost all the time to firefighting Thinks documentation is a waste of time, and expects the others to do it 12
  • 59. Good Product Manager Manages time for different aspects appropriately Prepares good documentation: marketing collaterals, FAQs, presentations & white papers Bad Product Manager Lost all the time to firefighting Thinks documentation is a waste of time, and expects the others to do it Communicate accurately & precise with all teams 12
  • 60. Good Product Manager Manages time for different aspects appropriately Communicate accurately & precise with all teams Prepares good documentation: marketing collaterals, FAQs, presentations & white papers Bad Product Manager Lost all the time to firefighting Thinks documentation is a waste of time, and expects the others to do it Does not know what he or she wants and confuse everyone in the process 12
  • 61. Good Product Manager Manages time for different aspects appropriately Communicate accurately & precise with all teams Bad Product Manager Prepares good documentation: marketing collaterals, FAQs, presentations & white papers Lost all the time to firefighting Gathers information informally and works around the system Thinks documentation is a waste of time, and expects the others to do it Does not know what he or she wants and confuse everyone in the process 12
  • 62. Good Product Manager Manages time for different aspects appropriately Communicate accurately & precise with all teams Bad Product Manager Prepares good documentation: marketing collaterals, FAQs, presentations & white papers Lost all the time to firefighting Thinks documentation is a waste of time, and expects the others to do it Gathers information informally and works around the system Does not know what he or she wants and confuse everyone in the process Complains all the time and blames the system 12
  • 63. Good Product Manager Bad Product Manager 13
  • 64. Good Product Manager Bad Product Manager Focus team on revenues and customers 13
  • 65. Good Product Manager Focus team on revenues and customers Bad Product Manager Focus team on what competition is doing 13
  • 66. Good Product Manager Focus team on revenues and customers Knows how to reduce features & say no when necessary Bad Product Manager Focus team on what competition is doing 13
  • 67. Good Product Manager Focus team on revenues and customers Knows how to reduce features & say no when necessary Bad Product Manager Focus team on what competition is doing Be too accommodating & keeps letting the product get bloated with features 13
  • 68. Good Product Manager Focus team on revenues and customers Knows how to reduce features & say no when necessary Bad Product Manager Focus team on what competition is doing Be too accommodating & keeps letting the product get bloated with features Prepares how to engage the press & dictate how the story is written 13
  • 69. Good Product Manager Focus team on revenues and customers Prepares how to engage the press & dictate how the story is written Knows how to reduce features & say no when necessary Bad Product Manager Focus team on what competition is doing Be too accommodating & keeps letting the product get bloated with features Lets the press write whatever they want & end up fighting with them when things go wrong. 13
  • 70. Good Product Manager Bad Product Manager Focus team on revenues and customers Knows how to reduce features & say no when necessary Focus team on what competition is doing Prepares how to engage the press & dictate how the story is written Decomposes problems into small chunks to solve them. Be too accommodating & keeps letting the product get bloated with features Lets the press write whatever they want & end up fighting with them when things go wrong. 13
  • 71. Good Product Manager Bad Product Manager Focus team on revenues and customers Knows how to reduce features & say no when necessary Focus team on what competition is doing Be too accommodating & keeps letting the product get bloated with features Prepares how to engage the press & dictate how the story is written Decomposes problems into small chunks to solve them. Lets the press write whatever they want & end up fighting with them when things go wrong. Conflat all the problems into one and have no idea how to resolve them. 13
  • 72. Most products fail because ... 14
  • 73. Most products fail because ... Too much emphasis on (business/technology) & lack of focus on (technology/business). 14
  • 74. Most products fail because ... Too much emphasis on (business/technology) & lack of focus on (technology/business). Too much features & too little room for experimentation or patience to work for the long haul. 14
  • 75. Most products fail because ... Too much emphasis on (business/technology) & lack of focus on (technology/business). Too much features & too little room for experimentation or patience to work for the long haul. Lack of integration between marketing, sales & product development & that’s why growth hacking is important. 14
  • 76. Most products fail because ... Too much emphasis on (business/technology) & lack of focus on (technology/business). Too much features & too little room for experimentation or patience to work for the long haul. Lack of integration between marketing, sales & product development & that’s why growth hacking is important. Execution limited to specific points of time and not over arching. 14
  • 77. How do we decide the product roadmap? 15
  • 78. How do we decide the product roadmap? Determine the business objective of the product 15
  • 79. How do we decide the product roadmap? Determine the business objective of the product Align team on product development, sales, marketing & customer data collection to business objective with timeline & milestones 15
  • 80. How do we decide the product roadmap? Determine the business objective of the product Align team on product development, sales, marketing & customer data collection to business objective with timeline & milestones Do not be distracted by your competitors’ product or say no to adding new features or total perfection. 15
  • 81. How do we decide the product roadmap? Determine the business objective of the product Align team on product development, sales, marketing & customer data collection to business objective with timeline & milestones Do not be distracted by your competitors’ product or say no to adding new features or total perfection. Hold yourself accountable to a set of metrics 15
  • 82. How do we decide the product roadmap? Determine the business objective of the product Align team on product development, sales, marketing & customer data collection to business objective with timeline & milestones Hold yourself accountable to a set of metrics Ensure that everyone is on message. Do not be distracted by your competitors’ product or say no to adding new features or total perfection. 15
  • 83. How do we decide the product roadmap? Determine the business objective of the product Align team on product development, sales, marketing & customer data collection to business objective with timeline & milestones Hold yourself accountable to a set of metrics Ensure that everyone is on message. Do not be distracted by your competitors’ product or say no to adding new features or total perfection. Relentless execution from pre, during & post-launch 15
  • 84. Product Roadmap Minimum Viable Product Beta Product Iterated Product for customers The ideal product does not exists Infinity Time Day 0 What you can build within 30-60 days? What you can build with an initial investment & some customers What you can build with more investments & more customers (includes feedback) What is the ideal product you will like to have? Write the ideal press release before you start ... 16
  • 85. How many downloads, users, impressions? (Vanity) How many monthly active users performing actions with your app or website? Construct metrics, on how many actions per user or how much time user spend and benchmark against known metrics. Measure data but find the killer metric that addresses virality & potential /real revenues. (the one you pitched to investors) 17
  • 86. Day 30 60 90 Product Development Product Management Product Marketing Build feature 1 & 2 Test trial for feature 1 & 2 Figure out where your customers get the product. Build feature 3 & 4 Test trial for feature 3 & 4 Prepare seeded content Figure out how to educate users Prepare the setup for the distribution Prototype ready for testing Prepare and starts Get users to try the complete sending invites to prototype & see what they thinks alpha or beta users Let everyone knows the plan and start your execution. Do keep each other in check. 18
  • 87. Tale 1: Customer Feedback vs “Cool” Visualization 19
  • 88. Tale 1: Customer Feedback vs “Cool” Visualization Business Objective: To sign up small and medium business owners with physical stores to advertise on our solution. 19
  • 89. Tale 1: Customer Feedback vs “Cool” Visualization Business Objective: To sign up small and medium business owners with physical stores to advertise on our solution. Our First Prototype: A small ad unit on mobile & web with a “View Map” that leads to Google Street View upon click. 19
  • 90. Tale 1: Customer Feedback vs “Cool” Visualization Business Objective: To sign up small and medium business owners with physical stores to advertise on our solution. Our First Prototype: A small ad unit on mobile & web with a “View Map” that leads to Google Street View upon click. 150 Customers Feedback: “View Map” looks “cool” but I prefer a button that tells users how they can come to my physical store. 19
  • 91. Tale 1: Customer Feedback vs “Cool” Visualization Business Objective: To sign up small and medium business owners with physical stores to advertise on our solution. Our First Prototype: A small ad unit on mobile & web with a “View Map” that leads to Google Street View upon click. 150 Customers Feedback: “View Map” looks “cool” but I prefer a button that tells users how they can come to my physical store. Product Manager: We change “View Map” to “Directions” & customers prefer our solution & our customers love it. 19
  • 92. Tale 2: SMS solution in Customer Discovery 20
  • 93. Tale 2: SMS solution in Customer Discovery Business Objective: Our customers use web interface, twitter or SMS to web to update their promotions. We have to offer all three in the US. 20
  • 94. Tale 2: SMS solution in Customer Discovery Business Objective: Our customers use web interface, twitter or SMS to web to update their promotions. We have to offer all three in the US. Problem: Twilio does not exist in 2010. For Singapore & Malaysia, we built our SMS servers to allow users to pair their mobile to our web servers. 20
  • 95. Tale 2: SMS solution in Customer Discovery Business Objective: Our customers use web interface, twitter or SMS to web to update their promotions. We have to offer all three in the US. Problem: Twilio does not exist in 2010. For Singapore & Malaysia, we built our SMS servers to allow users to pair their mobile to our web servers. Financial constraint: We can’t fly an engineer to US or use a SMS server solution there which is too expensive. 20
  • 96. Tale 2: SMS solution in Customer Discovery Business Objective: Our customers use web interface, twitter or SMS to web to update their promotions. We have to offer all three in the US. Problem: Twilio does not exist in 2010. For Singapore & Malaysia, we built our SMS servers to allow users to pair their mobile to our web servers. Financial constraint: We can’t fly an engineer to US or use a SMS server solution there which is too expensive. Product Manager: Figure out a cheap solution that we can develop and test whether US users really need to update their promotions via SMS. We save a lot of financial resources & use 2 days of one developer’s time. 20
  • 97. Tale 2: SMS solution in Customer Discovery Business Objective: Our customers use web interface, twitter or SMS to web to update their promotions. We have to offer all three in the US. Our US customer sends us an update via SMS to our US number Problem: Twilio does not exist in 2010. For Singapore & Malaysia, we built our SMS servers to allow users to pair their mobile to our web servers. Financial constraint: We can’t fly an engineer to US or use a SMS server solution there which is too expensive. Pre-Paid US SIM Card receiving free incoming SMS Product Manager: Figure out a cheap solution that we can develop and test whether US users really need to update their promotions via SMS. We save a lot of financial resources & use 2 days of one developer’s time. We pair the pre-paid number with Google Voice & use Google Voice API to extract the message & push to Chalkboard platform replicating a SMS server for the US 20
  • 98. Tale 3: How to grow 4x users in Indonesia 21
  • 99. Tale 3: How to grow 4x users in Indonesia Business Objective: We have a mobile solution to build websites on a phone, and grow quickly in Indonesia market. 21
  • 100. Tale 3: How to grow 4x users in Indonesia Business Objective: We have a mobile solution to build websites on a phone, and grow quickly in Indonesia market. Mobile data from analysts show that Indonesians like using Facebook and prefer to access services with Bahasa Indonesia language. 21
  • 101. Tale 3: How to grow 4x users in Indonesia Business Objective: We have a mobile solution to build websites on a phone, and grow quickly in Indonesia market. Mobile data from analysts show that Indonesians like using Facebook and prefer to access services with Bahasa Indonesia language. Product Manager: Make login not by classical signups, but by Facebook connect and also localise the login in Indonesia with their local language. 21
  • 102. Tale 3: How to grow 4x users in Indonesia Business Objective: We have a mobile solution to build websites on a phone, and grow quickly in Indonesia market. Mobile data from analysts show that Indonesians like using Facebook and prefer to access services with Bahasa Indonesia language. Product Manager: Make login not by classical signups, but by Facebook connect and also localise the login in Indonesia with their local language. Results: went from 2x with Facebook connect and then 4x growth of users by localisation to Bahasa language. 21
  • 103. 22
  • 104. The One Thing I believe that no one else do ... 22
  • 105. 22
  • 106. Product managers with science & engineering backgrounds have stronger advantages against product managers with business backgrounds. 22
  • 107. 22
  • 108. But to be successful, technology based product managers need to keep an open mind, learn the business side and move towards user-centricity than technology-centricity. 22
  • 109. Thank You! “New is Easy. Right is hard” - Craig Federighi, Apple 23
  • 110. References • Ben Horowitz, "Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager" • • Ken Norton, "How to hire a product manager". • • • Jeff Weiner, How to Spot the Five-Tool Superstar Ian McAllister, What distinguishes the top 1% of product managers from the top 10%? Jack Dorsey, The CEO as Chief Editor. Eric Ries, The Product Manager's Lament. 24