“It takes a combination of art & science to build world class products.
Creating something from nothing requires an instinctive, artistic flair but
scaling it massively requires a disciplined scientific approach”
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Startup - From First Principles
Create Repeat Scale
“A startup is a temporary organization
searching for a repeatable & scalable
business model – Steve Blank”
Minimum Viable Product
MVP is an early version of the product that gives
maximum learning about customers with least effort.
Rationale for MVP: Startups ≠ Perfect
“If you are not embarrassed by the first
version of your product, you’ve
launched too late – Reid Hoffman”
Product Market Fit (PMF)
PMF is the degree to which a product
satisfies a strong market demand.
Product Market Fit
How do you know you have PMF?
Consumer PMF looks like*
Organic growth - 1000s of signups/day
Returning users - 100s of users returning 3 days/week
Clear path to 100K users
Enterprise/SAAS PMF looks like*
Freemium-to-paid conversion rate 5%
LTV/ CAC ratio > 3
Monthly churn rate < 2%
Clear path to $100K MRR
Startup Funnel Metrics
Acquisition How users find you?
How is their first user experience?
Do users return?
How do you make money?
Do users tell others?
Funnel metrics is visualizing the product’s
key workflow in terms of a conversion funnel.
Simplified Funnel Metrics
Stripped down version of Funnel Metrics
SlideShare version of Funnel Metrics*
Distribution (Team “distro”)
Engagement (Team “engage”)
Monetization (Team “biz”)
*Team division based on Funnel Metrics stages
Speed Now. Scale Later.
Speed is a startup’s
Done > Perfect
Virality = Focusing on Width (v/s Depth)
Virality is ability of an
object to self replicate
Single minded focus on
new user acquisition
Optimize viral loops
Viral CoEfficient* > 1
*Viral Coefficient is # of additional users every new user brings
3 Point Thumb Rule for Product Prioritization
Product Features (prioritizing for a product)
Product Roadmap (prioritizing overall product plan)
Prioritizing Product Feedback
One person's opinion (OPO) / Highest paid
person’s opinion (HiPPO)
Vocal minority phenomenon
The context for feedback as imp as feedback itself!
Focus on your core, Outsource non-core complexity
Cloud: AWS, Azure
Hosting: Digital Ocean, Softlayer
Billing: Braintree, Razorpay
Analytics: Mixpanel, Clevertap
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel!
Engineers (by default) like building new shiny tech toys:)
Consumer (B2C) SAAS (B2B)
Building for End Users End Users / Buyers
Key Focus User’s emotional need Workflow efficiency
Success Metrics Build what users love Revenue driven
Team Orientation Consumer mindset Business mindset
Product Adoption Virality driven Sales / BizDev driven
Consumer v/s SAAS User Values & Functionality
Manage the Holy Grail – Failure, Risk, Ambiguity
Failure Risk Taking Ambiguity
MVP, Lean, Agile are all ways to manage risk!