Company is: Established in the market, mature sales team, repeat clients, solid partnerships You want to Break out with a brand new product, while maintaining existing business
External decision: customer requestsInternal decision: company decides to test hypothesis based on research
Highest cost center, strategic headcount allocation, product-minded, developing for the future
Can’t you hire more people? Build a new team for the new product?OK, what if you get more funding? We can budget for it, come on!
Having new people on the team at once is more disruptive and keeps existing members constantly thinking about future integration of new product
Split into two uneven teams:One: maintain existing businessOne: innovate, build/break/ship quicklyEventually, measured positive business success, increased priority of innovationTwo teams incorporated into one team, after many iterations of the organization. It wasn’t a silver bullet approach, but we continued to reevaluate
Knowledge transfer/ learning curveExperimenting with different structure organizationCommunication, communication, communication! Obviously, one product team with two business focuses keeping priorities and comunication straight between two engineering organizations is immensely challenging.
Initial small team sets foundation of new productResource allocation parallels business priority at any given timeContinuing customer development cycle with incorporated teams
Keep in mind 80/20 resource : revenueUtilize existing team members to your benefit!Keep iterating on communicationRespect the team, product development will flow
Interact with customers, bring in revenue, represent company brand and show off products
Can’t the team just forward-sell? What’s the big deal, why wouldn’t you just embellish the product story?
Important players in customer developmentCommon interest: driving more $$$Balance brand message with realityCompetitors
Sharethrough for Publishers– tool allowing our partners to leverage our technologyDiscovered opportunity for existing + to acquire new publishers (sales/exec driven)As prod/eng, focus was on rapid BML cycles of our new auction platformBig question: what is minimal set of features, lightest way to build them while continuing to build new platform?
Started with large list of requirements from sales & publishersFrom large list of req’s, what were minimum “can’t live without” set of featuresOn dev side: what is most lightweight, least disruptive way to build the tool?
Answer important questions:HOW do we compare? - Competitive feature set matrix (ongoing)WHY are we falling short? – Customer development learnings (weekly)ARE we going in the right direction? – Re-evaluate strategically per market/revenue goals (3-6 month)
Continuing to re-evaluate position of new product in rapidly evolving marketKeeping eng/devfocus in check alongside novel customer requests Customer development. It’s hard!
Narrow down scope of MVP, make sure that it makes sense with current and foreseeable iteration of devSet aside time to re-evaluate and confirm directionCustomer development involves a partnership with sales/biz dev
Run the innerworkings of the business, feedback source about new product, internal customers
Can’t you just increase headcount to execute the new product ops?How do you keep cognitive load low with new process/training?
May have first usage of new product (esp. if software)Internal customer = feedback + discern (who is design target?)Have customer’s needs in mind
Wizard-of-Oz manual workaroundsBefore training entire team, enlist early product adopter/super user (close to product team)Continue to suss out feedback to iterate on features
Can and should go through different iterationsImportant to think about the overall UXProcess on the (business side)New, low effort features aka Low Hanging Fruit(development side)Examples/details: Keeping branding consistent, cohesive experience and story for the customerGood QA (everyone in the company is part of the QA process)
No process is set in stoneOvercommunicateKeep each stakeholder engineering / sales&marketing / operations in the loop and in mindCompany (not just product/feature set) vision/goals front and center
Evolving and Growing with Lean Startup by Valerie Gofman
Evolution of a Tech Product
Thinking Lean While Innovating in an Existing
Your company is: Established in the market!
You want to:
Build new product