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Product management – what makes or breaks a startup

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Product management – what makes or breaks a startup

  1. 1. LWOW 2016 Product management – what makes or breaks a startup Anna Ronkainen 2016-01-17 Chief Scientist*, TrademarkNow @ronkaine *+co-founder,formerheadofproduct
  2. 2. What is product management?
  3. 3. Product management = figuring out... -  what the product is and what it is for -  who the product is for -  the competitive landscape -  what goes and doesn’t go into the product -  evaluating the product to make sure it does what it is supposed to (and users love it) -  what to do and when (“product roadmap”) -  how to build it (with development/mfg) -  how to sell it (with marketing and sales)
  4. 4. 90% of product management work can be automated...
  5. 5. Our latest product management hire can handle all this: “Can we get feature x?” “But y would buy our product if we had feature x!” “Our competitor z has feature x!”
  6. 6. ...but it’s the 10% (that you actually decide to do) that makes or breaks a company
  7. 7. So, how to do it ?
  8. 8. 1. Be your own customer: build products for yourself
  9. 9. For aspiring legal entrepreneurs, it can make a lot of sense to first get a “normal” legal job to figure out where the pain points are...
  10. 10. 2. Become your own customer: listen, learn, empathize
  11. 11. Listen to your customers, but remember that they don’t have (all) the answers! “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – commonly attributed to Henry Ford (possibly apocryphal)
  12. 12. Remember what your actual product is
  13. 13. Start small: Minimum viable cake
  14. 14. Final words of advice -  find a specific problem worth addressing -  figure out who your customer is (maybe even sketch a user persona or two?) -  get out of the building! -  validate your assumptions! -  believe in your product... -  ...but don’t be afraid to change course if it turns out you’re on the wrong path
  15. 15. Thank you!

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