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The starfish model v1


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A simple metaphor product managers can use to think of products and new capabilities. From backlog items to release themes

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The starfish model v1

  1. 1. YOUR PRODUCT IS A STARFISH A simple way to think of your product growth Audience: Product Owners, Product Managers, Product Marketing managers, Product executives Donato Mangialardo Product Guy
  2. 2. Think of a simple starfish
  3. 3. Maps its arms to key aspects of your product ANALYTICS EASE OF USE EDITING INTEGRATIONSAPI
  4. 4. The longer the arms, the stronger are the capabilities ANALYTICS STRONG EASE OF USE EDITING INTEGRATIONS WEAK API
  5. 5. The longer the arms, the stronger are the capabilities ANALYTICS STRONG EASE OF USE EDITING INTEGRATIONS WEAK API If a capability is very valued, unique and hard to copy by competitors, it’s a competitive advantage Shorter arms mean that the capability is solid but not that unique, or that is very unique but not that solid. It’s a GAP
  6. 6. Rounded shape, short arms The product has little-to no competitive advantages. It’s ok for many things but it never really excels at something. Not a remarkable product If your productìs starfish looks like this you are probably in a de facto monopoly :)
  7. 7. Strong Product Defined characteristics that make it competitive It’s a factor that drives company’s competitiveness Weak Product Not particularly good at anything special. No character. Not an elemeno of competitiveness E.g. the company does well because of service level or first-to-market, not product Better be on the left side
  8. 8. Making an arm longer makes that competitive advantage stronger Lengthen Any new capability can be seen as a change to the starfish shape.
  9. 9. Widening an arm means making it more robust. Covering more use casesWiden
  10. 10. New Introduce new competitive advantage (rare: it does not apply to small features)
  11. 11. Fill Fill holes that prevent reaching the benefits of an arm (e.g part of the journey is broken by a limitation)
  12. 12. We can map every new release with actions to the shape of the starfish. ● The starfish is a good way to get a qualitative representation of the impact and the themes of a new release
  13. 13. Example: Pagery V1 A new way to automatically adapt the user experience to select audiences based on behavior, through machine learning algorithms (actual capability made generic as it is proprietary information) Longer Arm + Wider Arm CONFIGURABILITY MOBILE Longer Arm
  14. 14. If you are a product company, chances are your business is centered around your product... Your product’s competitive advantages are the reasons why your business exists. THINK OF THE ARMS OF THE STARFISH REPRESENTING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES
  15. 15. Any product release can be represented with changes to the starfish.
  16. 16. Let’s play with it ● Try to map key elements of your backlog to starfish arms to see how well it feeds competitive advantages, which is always a top priority for keeping your business alive. ● Map your latest release. Compare with the upcoming one ● Find examples of holes that prevent reaching the tip of an arm (e.g. limitations, malfunctions)
  17. 17. Accepting customers or sales requests at face value Don’t do this please :)
  18. 18. xFeature 1 Feature 2 Feature 3 Feature 2 Feature 4 Limitation 1 Bugs on capability 2 New major capability Release 2019.2 Map to releases > find themes
  19. 19. Release 2019.2 xFeature 2 Feature 4 Limitation 1 Bugs on capability 2 Map to releases > find themes
  20. 20. Thank youDonato Mangialardo Product Guy Linkedin: @donatomm