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Product Leadership: Lessons from Silicon Valley (SPS ISPMA)

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Keynote for ISPMA Software Product Summit, Frankfurt, 17 April 2018.

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Product Leadership: Lessons from Silicon Valley (SPS ISPMA)

  1. 1. Product Leadership: Lessons from Silicon Valley Rich Mironov Software Product Summit Frankfurt, 17 April 2018
  2. 2. 1. Software becoming core to every market, but timing and economics matter 2. Market validation is our highest leverage 3. Focus on paying customers and end users, not internal stakeholders Agenda
  3. 3. - Marc Andreessen, 2011 “Software Is Eating The World” Mironov/Frankfurt
  4. 4. Clocks, cameras, calendars, books, maps, stereos, GPS, coins, calculators, groceries, newspapers, address books, security tokens, dating, movies, boarding passes, heart monitors… Digitization of Consumer Markets
  5. 5. • Dynabook (1968 spec) • GRIDPad (1989) • GO (1991) • Apple Newton (1993) • General Magic (1994) • Palm Pilot (1996) • MP3 players (1998) • Microsoft Pocket PC (2000) • Microsoft Tablet PC (2002) After Decades of Failed Mobile Devices
  6. 6. • Death of PalmOS, Symbian, Blackberry, Nokia S40, Windows Mobile, Maemo… • Invested in software, charged for hardware • Android drained profit from handsets Then, Consolidation
  7. 7. How to differentiate when • Rideshare service chooses nearest car • No front seat, no controls • Human drivers less safe than autonomous cars Next: Autonomous Cars Mironov/Frankfurt
  8. 8. • Slowly, then all at once • “Winner takes most” • Some bumps along the way Timing and Economics Matter
  9. 9. “The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.” - William Gibson, 1993
  10. 10. • Software economics: build for markets, not individual customers • Timing matters Ø Product management must drive strategic thinking, not just execution Silicon Valley Lesson #1
  11. 11. 1. Software becoming core to every market, but timing and economics matter 2. Market validation is our highest leverage 3. Focus on paying customers and end users, not internal stakeholders Agenda
  12. 12. Customers are experts at what they want to achieve, not how to achieve it. - Alex Osterwalder Mironov/Frankfurt
  13. 13. There’s nothing more wasteful than brilliantly engineering a product that doesn’t sell. Mironov/Frankfurt
  14. 14. • Users/customers demand wrong solutions • Creative process to deeply understanding real problems Product Managers Don’t “Gather Requirements” Mironov/Frankfurt
  15. 15. ü Business cases (1980’s) ü Cross-functional teams (1990’s) ü Agile development: more responsive/more efficient (2000’s) Ø Clearer problem understanding, better solutioning (1990’s-2000’s) • Jobs To Be Done, customer development, validation, user journeys, design thinking… Market Validation is Now Our Primary Leverage Mironov/Frankfurt
  16. 16. Best product managers: • Get teams to deeply understand user problems • Collectively find elegant solutions Problem-Framing and Solution Design are Contact Team Sports Mironov/Frankfurt
  17. 17. • Product + Design/UX + Engineering • Separate from sales calls • Every week We Must Engage Directly with Users
  18. 18. • Creative understanding of root issues • Great problem framing and great solutioning deliver winning products Ø Validation takes expertise, time, investment Silicon Valley Lesson #2
  19. 19. 1. Software becoming core to every market, but timing and economics matter 2. Market validation is our highest leverage 3. Focus on paying customers and end users, not internal stakeholders Agenda
  20. 20. unplanned, deal-driven 20% DevOps, quality, scalability, security 20% eng mgmt, staffing, R&D 10% planned features, UX, revenue drivers 50% Enterprise SaaS Company’s Development Budget Mironov/Frankfurt
  21. 21. • “CEO says this is very important.” • “We promised it to a big prospect.” • “How hard could this be? Probably only 10 lines of code.” • “We’ve gone agile, which gives us infinite capacity...” • “My neighbor’s kid could do this in an hour.” Magical Thinking
  22. 22. unplanned, deal-driven 20% DevOps, quality, scalability, security 20% eng mgmt, staffing, R&D 10% planned features, UX, revenue drivers 50% Internal Stakeholders SALES, MARKETING, EXECS ENG, OPS, SUPPORT, CUST SUCCESS SALES
  23. 23. • Must set priorities around (paying) customers • Internal stakeholders are predictably biased Ø Product leaders need organizational skills and good analysis Silicon Valley Lesson #3
  24. 24. 1. Need great strategic view and great product execution 2. Market validation is this decade’s differentiator 3. Focus on paying customers, not stakeholders Takeaways
  25. 25. Rich Mironov, CEO Mironov Consulting 233 Franklin St, Suite #308 San Francisco, CA 94102 RichMironov @RichMironov Rich@Mironov.com +1-650-315-7394

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