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The Art & Science of Building
World Class Tech Products
12 Lessons from the Startup Trenches
Amit Ranjan
My Background
“It takes a combination of art & science to build world class products.
Creating something from nothing requires an instinctive, artistic flair but
scaling it massively requires a disciplined scientific approach”
0 1 5 10 50 n
Peter Thiel
Startup - From First Principles
Create  Repeat  Scale
“A startup is a temporary organization
searching for a repeatable & scalable
business model – Steve Blank”
1
2
Startup Life Cycle
Discovery
Validation
Growth
Concept / Ideate Build / Iterate / Validate Scale / Expand
Unstructured Semi Structured Structured
3
Minimum Viable Product
Build
MeasureLearn
ExperimentsPivots
Metrics
MVP is an early version of the product that gives
maximum learning about customers with least effort.
Rationale for MVP: Startups ≠ Perfect
“If you are not embarrassed by the first
version of your product, you’ve
launched too late – Reid Hoffman”
4
Product Market Fit (PMF)
PMF is the degree to which a product
satisfies a strong market demand.
Target Customer
Value Proposition
Underserved Needs
Features
UX
Product Market Fit
Product
Market
How do you know you have PMF?
*illustrative examples
Consumer PMF looks like*
 Organic growth - 1000s of signups/day
 Returning users - 100s of users returning 3 days/week
 Clear path to 100K users
Enterprise/SAAS PMF looks like*
 Freemium-to-paid conversion rate 5%
 LTV/ CAC ratio > 3
 Monthly churn rate < 2%
 Clear path to $100K MRR
5
Startup Funnel Metrics
Revenue
Referral
Activation
Retention
Acquisition How users find you?
How is their first user experience?
Do users return?
How do you make money?
Do users tell others?
Funnel metrics is visualizing the product’s
key workflow in terms of a conversion funnel.
Simplified Funnel Metrics
Stripped down version of Funnel Metrics
 Acquisition
 Retention
 Revenue
SlideShare version of Funnel Metrics*
 Distribution (Team “distro”)
 Engagement (Team “engage”)
 Monetization (Team “biz”)
*Team division based on Funnel Metrics stages
Speed Now. Scale Later.
6
 Speed is a startup’s
secret weapon
 Done > Perfect
Virality = Focusing on Width (v/s Depth)
7
 Virality is ability of an
object to self replicate
 Single minded focus on
new user acquisition
 Optimize viral loops
 Viral CoEfficient* > 1
*Viral Coefficient is # of additional users every new user brings
3 Point Thumb Rule for Product Prioritization
Product Features (prioritizing for a product)
 Metrics movers
 Satisfiers
 Delighters
Product Roadmap (prioritizing overall product plan)
 Core
 Strategic
 Venture
8
Prioritizing Product Feedback
One person's opinion (OPO) / Highest paid
person’s opinion (HiPPO)
Strong suggestion
Vocal minority phenomenon
Mandate
9
The context for feedback as imp as feedback itself!
Focus on your core, Outsource non-core complexity
10
 Cloud: AWS, Azure
 Hosting: Digital Ocean, Softlayer
 Billing: Braintree, Razorpay
 Analytics: Mixpanel, Clevertap
 Voice: Twilio
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel!
Engineers (by default) like building new shiny tech toys:)
Consumer (B2C) SAAS (B2B)
Building for End Users End Users / Buyers
Key Focus User’s emotional need Workflow efficiency
Success Metrics Build what users love Revenue driven
Team Orientation Consumer mindset Business mindset
Product Adoption Virality driven Sales / BizDev driven
Consumer v/s SAAS User Values & Functionality
11
Manage the Holy Grail – Failure, Risk, Ambiguity
12
Failure Risk Taking Ambiguity
MVP, Lean, Agile are all ways to manage risk!
https://twitter.com/amitranjan
http://in.linkedin.com/in/amitranjanprofile
Thank You
References
 http://steveblank.com/2010/01/25/whats-a-startup-first-principles/
 http://www.paulgraham.com/growth.html
 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140602024642-22330283-avoiding-the-unintended-consequences-of-casual-feedback
 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-enterprise-products-differ-from-consumer-angela-yoonjeong-yang
 http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-ways-to-prioritize-a-list-of-product-features
 https://medium.com/design-of-a-technology-business/ultimate-guide-to-product-prioritization-b08c18d5c00f
 http://www.slideshare.net/dmc500hats/startup-metrics-for-pirates-long-version
 https://www.slideshare.net/andrew_null/zero-to-traction
 https://leanstartup.co/a-playbook-for-achieving-product-market-fit/
 https://www.slideshare.net/greylockpartners/the-hierarchy-of-engagement/9-its_a_corl_tiifatior_of
 https://www.amazon.in/Zero-One-Start-Build-Future/dp/0753555190/ref=sr_1_1

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The Art and Science of Building World Class Technology Products

  • 1. The Art & Science of Building World Class Tech Products 12 Lessons from the Startup Trenches Amit Ranjan
  • 3. “It takes a combination of art & science to build world class products. Creating something from nothing requires an instinctive, artistic flair but scaling it massively requires a disciplined scientific approach” 0 1 5 10 50 n Peter Thiel
  • 4. Startup - From First Principles Create  Repeat  Scale “A startup is a temporary organization searching for a repeatable & scalable business model – Steve Blank” 1
  • 5. 2 Startup Life Cycle Discovery Validation Growth Concept / Ideate Build / Iterate / Validate Scale / Expand Unstructured Semi Structured Structured
  • 6. 3 Minimum Viable Product Build MeasureLearn ExperimentsPivots Metrics MVP is an early version of the product that gives maximum learning about customers with least effort.
  • 7. Rationale for MVP: Startups ≠ Perfect “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late – Reid Hoffman”
  • 8. 4 Product Market Fit (PMF) PMF is the degree to which a product satisfies a strong market demand. Target Customer Value Proposition Underserved Needs Features UX Product Market Fit Product Market
  • 9. How do you know you have PMF? *illustrative examples Consumer PMF looks like*  Organic growth - 1000s of signups/day  Returning users - 100s of users returning 3 days/week  Clear path to 100K users Enterprise/SAAS PMF looks like*  Freemium-to-paid conversion rate 5%  LTV/ CAC ratio > 3  Monthly churn rate < 2%  Clear path to $100K MRR
  • 10. 5 Startup Funnel Metrics Revenue Referral Activation Retention Acquisition How users find you? How is their first user experience? Do users return? How do you make money? Do users tell others? Funnel metrics is visualizing the product’s key workflow in terms of a conversion funnel.
  • 11. Simplified Funnel Metrics Stripped down version of Funnel Metrics  Acquisition  Retention  Revenue SlideShare version of Funnel Metrics*  Distribution (Team “distro”)  Engagement (Team “engage”)  Monetization (Team “biz”) *Team division based on Funnel Metrics stages
  • 12. Speed Now. Scale Later. 6  Speed is a startup’s secret weapon  Done > Perfect
  • 13. Virality = Focusing on Width (v/s Depth) 7  Virality is ability of an object to self replicate  Single minded focus on new user acquisition  Optimize viral loops  Viral CoEfficient* > 1 *Viral Coefficient is # of additional users every new user brings
  • 14. 3 Point Thumb Rule for Product Prioritization Product Features (prioritizing for a product)  Metrics movers  Satisfiers  Delighters Product Roadmap (prioritizing overall product plan)  Core  Strategic  Venture 8
  • 15. Prioritizing Product Feedback One person's opinion (OPO) / Highest paid person’s opinion (HiPPO) Strong suggestion Vocal minority phenomenon Mandate 9 The context for feedback as imp as feedback itself!
  • 16. Focus on your core, Outsource non-core complexity 10  Cloud: AWS, Azure  Hosting: Digital Ocean, Softlayer  Billing: Braintree, Razorpay  Analytics: Mixpanel, Clevertap  Voice: Twilio Don’t Reinvent the Wheel! Engineers (by default) like building new shiny tech toys:)
  • 17. Consumer (B2C) SAAS (B2B) Building for End Users End Users / Buyers Key Focus User’s emotional need Workflow efficiency Success Metrics Build what users love Revenue driven Team Orientation Consumer mindset Business mindset Product Adoption Virality driven Sales / BizDev driven Consumer v/s SAAS User Values & Functionality 11
  • 18. Manage the Holy Grail – Failure, Risk, Ambiguity 12 Failure Risk Taking Ambiguity MVP, Lean, Agile are all ways to manage risk!
  • 20. References  http://steveblank.com/2010/01/25/whats-a-startup-first-principles/  http://www.paulgraham.com/growth.html  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140602024642-22330283-avoiding-the-unintended-consequences-of-casual-feedback  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-enterprise-products-differ-from-consumer-angela-yoonjeong-yang  http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-ways-to-prioritize-a-list-of-product-features  https://medium.com/design-of-a-technology-business/ultimate-guide-to-product-prioritization-b08c18d5c00f  http://www.slideshare.net/dmc500hats/startup-metrics-for-pirates-long-version  https://www.slideshare.net/andrew_null/zero-to-traction  https://leanstartup.co/a-playbook-for-achieving-product-market-fit/  https://www.slideshare.net/greylockpartners/the-hierarchy-of-engagement/9-its_a_corl_tiifatior_of  https://www.amazon.in/Zero-One-Start-Build-Future/dp/0753555190/ref=sr_1_1