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ProductCamp DC 2014: Tales From The Product Frontlines


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Shardul and Pradheep have, like many of you been at the forefront of getting products to market and markets to product. In this session they will share tales of success and almost successes and draw the audience into sharing their own product stories and anecdotes. So how about we get together to share stories on topics such as making evangelists out of early customers, how to say "no" when you really mean "no," what do you do when all you have is an idea and what does it take to get recognized and promoted as a product person.

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ProductCamp DC 2014: Tales From The Product Frontlines

  1. 1. Tales From The Product Frontlines Shardul Mehta, Pradheep Sampath ProductCamp DC October 11, 2014 Tweet this: #pcampdc
  2. 2. Thank you to our sponsors!
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  4. 4. Hi. I’m Shardul. Hi. I’m Pradheep. @shardulmehta Founder WebDocOffice, ProductCamp DC Product Manager Healthcare, retail services, financial services, payments, F500, <30 people Mentor, Advisor Lean Startup Machine, Startup Mason, many product people Former C/C++, Java Programmer @PradSam Founder ProductCamp DC Product Manager B2B & B2C e-Commerce, supply chain management, invoicing & payments, mid-market & startup. Acquisition Integration, SaaS Product Management via stints early on in in Tech Pre-Sales / Sales Engineering VP Product Mgmt, Liquidity Services VP Product, Diamond Mind 3
  5. 5. 4 things we can talk about • It’s guaranteed to be a big hit • What the hell am I still doing here? • Get out of the what? • You say yes, I say no Tweet this: #pcampdc 4
  6. 6. It’s guaranteed to be a big hit Tweet this: #pcampdc What do you do when all you’ve been given is an idea? 5
  7. 7. What the hell am I still doing here? Tweet this: #pcampdc What does it take to get recognized and promoted as a product person? 6
  8. 8. Get out of the what? Tweet this: #pcampdc How do you get actionable customer insights? 7
  9. 9. You say yes, I say no Tweet this: #pcampdc How do you say “no” when you really mean “no”? 8
  10. 10. Need product help? 9 @shardulmehta Tweet this: #pcampdc
  11. 11. Tales From The Product Frontlines APPENDIX 10
  12. 12. Product CanvasTM Customer Segment For whom are we solving a problem? For whom are we creating value? Early Adopter: Who is a potential early user of the solution? Problem What are the top 3-5 problems faced by our target Customer Segment? Unique Value Proposition How are we uniquely going to solve our customer’s problems or satisfy their needs? A single, clear, compelling message that states why you are different and worth buying. Solution What are the top 3-5 ways we are going to solve the problems faced by our Customer Segment? Key Success Factors How will we measure success? What key metrics are we trying to move? Existing Alternatives How are they solving the problem today? Channels How will we get (acquire), keep (retain) and grow (sell more to existing) customers? Get/Acquire: How will we drive awareness, interest, activation, usage? Keep/Retain: How will we keep customers coming back? Grow: How will we up-sell/cross-sell customers, encourage referrals? Unfair Advantage What makes us uniquely different? What is it about our product or business that can’t be easily copied or bought? Key Resources & Partners What are the critical internal and external resources we need to deliver the solution to the customer? Revenue/Business Value What is the business value of delivering the product/service/capability? (E.g., drive revenue, save money, increase CSAT, competitive differentiator, market positioning, etc.) Cost Structure What are most important costs inherent in our product model? Which Key Resources are most expensive? Which key activities are most expensive – product development, marketing, customer support? MARKET/CUSTOMER PRODUCT/BUSINESS PRODUCT MARKET © Shardul Mehta 2013 Product CanvasTM is adapted from The Business Model Canvas ( and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.
  13. 13. Customer/Problem Fit Problem/Solution Fit Minimum Viable Product Minimum Sellable Product Goal Validate customer and problem hypotheses Validate solution hypothesis Validate product Go-to-market Chief Activity Customer interviews Customer interviews with mockup Build and deliver MVP to early customers Go-to-market Investment Needed $0 – just time $0 or small $ to build mockup $$ to build MVP $$ to build MSP ROI Critical learning about the target customer’s pain 1. Critical learning about whether 2. Early customers willing to test MVP 3.MVP/MSP definition 1. Product delivered to real customers 2. “Earlyvangelists” to help define go-to-market and inform product roadmap 3.Revenue (possibly) Revenue Using a “bootstrapping” + validation process