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How to build a product strategy?
Julie Knibbe - Product Strategy
@julieknibbe
2
What’s product strategy?
x x
A B
Where
you are
Your
vision
Product Strategy
3
4
POINT A
5
How well are you currently doing?
Are your customers happy with your product?
KPIs
• NPS – Net Promoter Score
• AARRR – Acquisition Activation Retention Revenue Referral
• LTV – Lifetime Value
• Conversion/Churn
• …
Beware of vanity metrics like #downloads, views, …. easily
distorted
6
Why are your customers happy with your product?
What problems are you solving?
Define your “jobs to be done” Users are “hiring” apps/services to get a job done.
Here are some common jobs that have been around for a
long time:
● Get a package from A to B with confidence, certainty
and speed.
● Keep everyone up to date on a project they’re
involved with.
● Get me face to face with my colleague in San
Francisco.
7
How much value do customers see in your features?
Survey users and non-users in your target to map your features using the Kano framework
Which features are critical, which aren’t?
8
POINT B
9
Do you need a vision?
What about being agile and finding out along the way
• “Fail fast” requires to recognize when a failure happens, which isn’t that easy
• Frequent changes of positioning are expensive
• Solving problems is what pushes tech frontiers
• Employees need purpose
“Stubborn on vision. Flexible on details.”
Jeff Bezos
https://deezer.io/do-we-need-a-vision-847592dad002
10
Vision without BS
« The product vision should describe a broad and engaging goal: a goal that guides the development effort but
leaves enough room for creativity; a goal that engages and inspires people, fosters creativity, and generates
buy-in. »
Scrum Alliance, The Product Vision
Jim Collins Framework
11
Deezer is an audio company.
We fill every moment of your life with sounds.
Our product tunes in to your aspiration to feel emotions, escape,
have fun, relax, focus and learn about the world.
12
The sound in your ears all day long
AUDIOBOOK
NATURE SOUNDS
FALL ASLEEP
MUSIC
HAVE FUN
CHILL
WHITE NOISE
WORKCOMMUTE
PODCAST
GET READY
IN THE MORNING
NEWS, MUSIC &
WEATHER FORECAST
13
STRATEGY
14
Roadmapping
1 000 000 ideas vs 6 tech people
What now?
- Write all ideas down
- Set aside all that are not aligned with your vision, do not match your current audience, have a wrong
time to market, …
- Gather the remaining ones in various consistent initiatives
- Evaluate initiatives
- Focus on one or a few initiatives (bets) that you’ll be able to evaluate
- Keep your focus
Involve and get buy-in from top management & key stakeholders at every step.
15
Market Positioning
Competitors aren’t necessarily the ones
providing similar solutions as yours.
16
Evaluating priorities
Growth
Profit
You
- Does the initiative fit your vision?
- How valuable is it? Does it help delivering the right
“job” for your target users?
- Will it cannibalize another key feature?
- What is the cost of doing it? not doing it?
- Will you be good at delivering it? (betting on
strengths rather than weaknesses)
Your market conditions
- It the time to market right?
- How differentiating is it vs other competing
solutions?
- What is the acquisition potential?
….
17
Beware of vicious circles
Vicious circle:
While (true){
if (Feature.KPI < expectations)
then{
workon(Feature);
}
}
Bad implementation is only 1 possible reason for a feature’s lack of adoption. Other reasons may
include:
- Bad time to market
- Wrong audience
- Wrong platform
- ….
18
Ruthless prioritization - Know when to say no
45%
The amount of time spent by product managers
on unplanned ‘fire-fighting’ activities
Product Focus 2016
→ Communicate the plan, and the why, all the time
Stick to the plan until it succeeds or fails, one initiative after
the other.
But….
• A is giving us 3 million to do X
• One of our investors want X
• My cousin said her neighbor only uses Y
• The new hype is Z
THANK YOU!

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Product Strategy - How to figure out a plan for your product?

  • 1. 1 How to build a product strategy? Julie Knibbe - Product Strategy @julieknibbe
  • 2. 2 What’s product strategy? x x A B Where you are Your vision Product Strategy
  • 3. 3
  • 5. 5 How well are you currently doing? Are your customers happy with your product? KPIs • NPS – Net Promoter Score • AARRR – Acquisition Activation Retention Revenue Referral • LTV – Lifetime Value • Conversion/Churn • … Beware of vanity metrics like #downloads, views, …. easily distorted
  • 6. 6 Why are your customers happy with your product? What problems are you solving? Define your “jobs to be done” Users are “hiring” apps/services to get a job done. Here are some common jobs that have been around for a long time: ● Get a package from A to B with confidence, certainty and speed. ● Keep everyone up to date on a project they’re involved with. ● Get me face to face with my colleague in San Francisco.
  • 7. 7 How much value do customers see in your features? Survey users and non-users in your target to map your features using the Kano framework Which features are critical, which aren’t?
  • 9. 9 Do you need a vision? What about being agile and finding out along the way • “Fail fast” requires to recognize when a failure happens, which isn’t that easy • Frequent changes of positioning are expensive • Solving problems is what pushes tech frontiers • Employees need purpose “Stubborn on vision. Flexible on details.” Jeff Bezos https://deezer.io/do-we-need-a-vision-847592dad002
  • 10. 10 Vision without BS « The product vision should describe a broad and engaging goal: a goal that guides the development effort but leaves enough room for creativity; a goal that engages and inspires people, fosters creativity, and generates buy-in. » Scrum Alliance, The Product Vision Jim Collins Framework
  • 11. 11 Deezer is an audio company. We fill every moment of your life with sounds. Our product tunes in to your aspiration to feel emotions, escape, have fun, relax, focus and learn about the world.
  • 12. 12 The sound in your ears all day long AUDIOBOOK NATURE SOUNDS FALL ASLEEP MUSIC HAVE FUN CHILL WHITE NOISE WORKCOMMUTE PODCAST GET READY IN THE MORNING NEWS, MUSIC & WEATHER FORECAST
  • 14. 14 Roadmapping 1 000 000 ideas vs 6 tech people What now? - Write all ideas down - Set aside all that are not aligned with your vision, do not match your current audience, have a wrong time to market, … - Gather the remaining ones in various consistent initiatives - Evaluate initiatives - Focus on one or a few initiatives (bets) that you’ll be able to evaluate - Keep your focus Involve and get buy-in from top management & key stakeholders at every step.
  • 15. 15 Market Positioning Competitors aren’t necessarily the ones providing similar solutions as yours.
  • 16. 16 Evaluating priorities Growth Profit You - Does the initiative fit your vision? - How valuable is it? Does it help delivering the right “job” for your target users? - Will it cannibalize another key feature? - What is the cost of doing it? not doing it? - Will you be good at delivering it? (betting on strengths rather than weaknesses) Your market conditions - It the time to market right? - How differentiating is it vs other competing solutions? - What is the acquisition potential? ….
  • 17. 17 Beware of vicious circles Vicious circle: While (true){ if (Feature.KPI < expectations) then{ workon(Feature); } } Bad implementation is only 1 possible reason for a feature’s lack of adoption. Other reasons may include: - Bad time to market - Wrong audience - Wrong platform - ….
  • 18. 18 Ruthless prioritization - Know when to say no 45% The amount of time spent by product managers on unplanned ‘fire-fighting’ activities Product Focus 2016 → Communicate the plan, and the why, all the time Stick to the plan until it succeeds or fails, one initiative after the other. But…. • A is giving us 3 million to do X • One of our investors want X • My cousin said her neighbor only uses Y • The new hype is Z