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Getting product strategy right

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At Web Summit 2017, Intercom co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Des Traynor spoke about the importance of product strategy at early stage companies.

Published in: Software
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  • Hi Des, great presentation. I have shared the video with my team. Is there a way I can get them a copy of the slides too, it will serve as a great reference every time we evaluate product. Thank you Des - Email jmaddante@gmail.com or inbox me on Linked
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  • Hi I really liked your presentation. It is incredibly interesting. Would it be possible for you to give me a download link to it or send me a pdf to eva_h@bbr.co.il? Many thanks Eva
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Getting product strategy right

  1. 1. Getting product strategy right @destraynor from @intercom
  2. 2. Even the world’s biggest companies don’t last for long…
  3. 3. 1955
  4. 4. 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975
  5. 5. 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 19901980 19951985
  6. 6. 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 19901980 1995 2000 2005 201520101985
  7. 7. The same can be said for the world’s hottest startups…
  8. 8. How do you last more than one hype cycle?
  9. 9. How can your product strategy prevent this?
  10. 10. Are you tackling a significant problem for a growing market? 
 
 Can you attach it to an extendable brand and defend it with a long lasting moat?
  11. 11. Significant problem space Extendable brand Growing market Defensible
 moat
  12. 12. Finding a significant problem space
  13. 13. Text here Viability Feasibility Desirability
  14. 14. Big Rare Small Frequent ✓ ✓ ✓ ✕ ✓
  15. 15. High Value Per Account Low/No Touch Onboarding Low Value Per Account High Touch Onboarding ✓ ✕ ✓ ✓
  16. 16. Cost Benefit
  17. 17. Cost Benefit YAY! All my photos are in one place
  18. 18. Cost Benefit
  19. 19. Cost Benefit “The solution is actually worse than the problem”
  20. 20. “The solution is as much hassle as the problem” Cost Benefit “The solution is actually worse than the problem”
  21. 21. “The solution is as much hassle as the problem” “This thing is probably worth installing” Cost Benefit “The solution is actually worse than the problem”
  22. 22. Cost Benefit
  23. 23. Benefit Cost $0.99
  24. 24. Benefit Cost $0.99 $0.99 + install time
  25. 25. Benefit $0.99 $0.99 + install time $0.99 + install time + now I have to use another app. Yet another icon on my phone, yet another thing I have to remember to check. It’s going to send me emails, isn’t it? I know it is. And it’ll be hacked. You know what screw this… Cost
  26. 26. $0.99 + install time + now I have to use another app. Yet another icon on my phone, yet another thing I have to remember to check. It’s going to send me emails, isn’t it? I know it is. And it’ll be hacked. You know what screw this…
  27. 27. Do you frequently experience and understand the problem?
  28. 28. When new technology emerges, can you: observe, orient, decide and, act O O D A
  29. 29. O “Does this solve 
 my problem?” 1. Send to research team 2. Assemble focus group 3. Gather feedback 4. Suggest findings
  30. 30. Can you express the problem in a timeless and technology-agnostic way?
  31. 31. “Swap phone numbers over Bluetooth with people nearby”
  32. 32. “Swap phone numbers over Bluetooth with people nearby”
  33. 33. “Send emails automatically when users trigger events in your web app”
  34. 34. “Send emails automatically when users trigger events in your web app”
  35. 35. If you want to be timeless, don’t be held ransom by the technologies of today.
  36. 36. Significant problem space Extendable brand Growing market Defensible
 moat
  37. 37. In 5 years time….
 Will more people have this problem?
 Will people have this problem more or less often? Will the problem hurt more or less?
  38. 38. Internet businesses - there will be more Customer loyalty - it will matter more Too many tools - there will be more tools Messaging - it will replace email Is Intercom’s market growing or shrinking?
  39. 39. “Appointment scheduling for dentists” “Automatically log your mileage with your employer” “Analytics for enterprise sales teams” “Virus protection for the desktop” “Mobile first marketplace for second hand cars”
  40. 40. There’s a gap in the market, but is there a market in the gap?
  41. 41. Why a “growing” market?
  42. 42. Growing markets means lots of new entrants
  43. 43. Selling to new companies Selling to established ones Will adapt to your tool Need your tool to adapt to it Have a burning need Have an optimisation task Will take a bet on you Can’t afford risky moves Will buy quickly, no fuss Will go through procurement
  44. 44. Significant problem space Extendable brand Growing market Defensible
 moat
  45. 45. Brand is the most overlooked element in new software companies.
  46. 46. Your brand represents the promises you make to your customers. 
 When you start out your product = your brand = your company = you
  47. 47. Early on your product drives your brand. Fast? Social? Powerful? Simple? Connected? Developer friendly? Personal?
  48. 48. Later on your brand drives your products. Apple Maps vs Google Maps Facebook Messenger vs Google Hangouts
  49. 49. Can your brand extend to match your ambition? TeamChat Developer Payments UserChat The Dublin Web Summit Slack Stripe Intercom Web Summit
  50. 50. Products Jobs Purpose Brand One job, many different products Purpose Brand Your product is your brand Endorser Brand One brand, many different jobs
  51. 51. Before you name and characterise your product, ensure you’re… distinct - are you saying things others won’t say? clear - do people know what you’re saying? resonant - will they remember it? relevant - does it have anything to do with what you’re building? permanent - will any/all of the above last?
  52. 52. Significant problem space Extendable brand Growing market Defensible
 moat
  53. 53. Almost every feature you work on either 
 a) fails b) gets copied
  54. 54. Delighted Customer Small Investment Disgusted Customer Large Investment Everything becomes table stakes over time
  55. 55. Delighted Customer Small Investment Disgusted Customer Large Investment Everything becomes table stakes over time At first they’re delightful…
  56. 56. Delighted Customer Small Investment Disgusted Customer Large Investment Everything becomes table stakes over time At first they’re delightful… …then they’re performant…
  57. 57. Delighted Customer Small Investment Disgusted Customer Large Investment Everything becomes table stakes over time At first they’re delightful… …then they’re performant… …then they’re a must-have.
  58. 58. Types of moats Economies of scale - accept a tiny margin for a massive volume Network effects - ensure your product improves the more it’s adopted IP/Patents trade secrets - make it illegal to copy you High switching costs - make it simply too much work to leave Customer loyalty - make it so no one ever wants to leave
  59. 59. Build a platform that others rely on
  60. 60. Build a connected community that can’t be copied
  61. 61. Build a brand that stands alone
  62. 62. Getting product strategy right…
  63. 63. Problem Start from the inside out. Pick a big problem that occurs frequently.
  64. 64. Problem Solution Design a solution that doesn’t care about technology.
  65. 65. Problem Solution Brand Build a brand that is focused on the exact problem you’re solving.
  66. 66. Problem Solution Brand Market Take that to a growing market where your brand will resonate.
  67. 67. Thanks @destraynor from @intercom 
 slides:blog.intercom.com

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