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The product development playbook for startups

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Too often, product development teams are stocked with talent and great ideas, but they fail to fulfill their ambitions.

It’s just not enough to have great ideas. It’s not even enough to have great people. There are scores of product development teams that have both, but they come up short all too often.

The key is in aligning team and vision with the right tools, methodologies, and mindset. In this session, we’ll discuss how to do just that, covering the basics of agile, roadmaps, metrics, staffing, and more. We’ll also tell you how to work well with other department leaders and your Board.

The two presenters will be Apto’s VP of Product, Jeremy Dillingham and VP of Engineering, Steve Neely. They each have extensive experience building and scaling product and engineering teams, and bringing disruptive products to the market. Together they have refocused Apto’s product development efforts and unleashed the creativity and efficiency of the Apto product development function. They believe very strongly in building successful teams by hiring the right people, putting the right systems in place, and giving the team autonomy to create and adapt.

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The product development playbook for startups

  1. 1. The Product Development Playbook for Startups Jeremy Dillingham, VP Product Steve Neely, VP Engineering
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  4. 4. The Product Development Playbook for Startups Jeremy Dillingham, VP Product Steve Neely, VP Engineering
  5. 5. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 5 Pop Quiz: Question 1 How many startups are there in the US? 29.6 million
  6. 6. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 6 Pop Quiz: Question 2 What is the startup survival rate? 50% of startups fail within 5 years
  7. 7. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 7 Pop Quiz: Question 3 Why do startups fail? 1. No market need 2. Ran out of cash 3. Not the right team 4. Got outcompeted 5. Pricing/cost issue 6. Poor product 7. Need/lack business model 8. Poor marketing 9. Ignore customers
  8. 8. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 8 Pop Quiz: Question 4 Which of these are the responsibility of Product Development? 1. No market need 2. Ran out of cash 3. Not the right team 4. Got outcompeted 5. Pricing/cost issue 6. Poor product 7. Need/lack business model 8. Poor marketing 9. Ignore customers
  9. 9. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 9 Pop Quiz Which of these are the responsibility of Product Development? 1. No market need 2. Ran out of cash 3. Not the right team 4. Got outcompeted 5. Pricing/cost issue 6. Poor product 7. Need/lack business model 8. Poor marketing 9. Ignore customers
  10. 10. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 10 Today we’ll try to help you beat the odds
  11. 11. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 11 with practical tips based on our experience
  12. 12. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 12 Your mileage may vary
  13. 13. Intro Chapter 1: High Functioning Teams Chapter 2: Metrics Chapter 3: Process to Enhance not Impede Homework
  14. 14. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 14
  15. 15. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 15 Inventory what you’ve got
  16. 16. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 16 and where you are...
  17. 17. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 17 Find the one most impactful thing to focus on
  18. 18. Intro Chapter 1: High Functioning Teams Chapter 2: Metrics Chapter 3: Process to Enhance not Impede Homework
  19. 19. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 19
  20. 20. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 20 Teams of the right size, and the right people
  21. 21. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 21 right size = 5 ± 2
  22. 22. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 22 Communication increases exponentially
  23. 23. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 23
  24. 24. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 24
  25. 25. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 25
  26. 26. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 26
  27. 27. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 27
  28. 28. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 28
  29. 29. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 29
  30. 30. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 30
  31. 31. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 31
  32. 32. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 32 Right people
  33. 33. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 33 Self-aware
  34. 34. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 34 Growth mindset
  35. 35. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 35 Continuously learning
  36. 36. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 36 Culture fit
  37. 37. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 37 Experience
  38. 38. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 38 Roles:
  39. 39. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 39 product manager
  40. 40. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 40 engineers
  41. 41. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 41 quality
  42. 42. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 42 user experience
  43. 43. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 43 data science, product marketing ...
  44. 44. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 44 Dedicated teams
  45. 45. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 45 aligned around tech stack, product, or customer
  46. 46. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 46 remove switching costs
  47. 47. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 47
  48. 48. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 48 Employee engagement
  49. 49. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 49 “Business units scoring in the top half on employee engagement… nearly double their odds of success 22% in profitability, 25% in turnover (high-turnover organizations), 37% in absenteeism, 41% in quality (defects.)”
  50. 50. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 50 Ultimate focus on customer
  51. 51. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 51 Empathy: customer, employee and social media
  52. 52. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 52
  53. 53. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 53
  54. 54. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 54 “Empathy is not a soft nurturing value but a hard commercial tool that every business needs as part of their DNA. Our aim is to make every interaction our customers have with us an individual one.” – Rene Schuster, former CEO of Telefonica Germany
  55. 55. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 55 Takeaways:
  56. 56. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 56 Right people Right skills Right motivation
  57. 57. Intro Chapter 1: High Functioning Teams Chapter 2: Metrics Chapter 3: Process to Enhance not Impede Homework
  58. 58. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 58 One metric that matters
  59. 59. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 59 “Human beings adjust behavior based on the metrics they’re held against” – Dan Ariely in HBR 6/10
  60. 60. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 60 Business metrics
  61. 61. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 61 MRR / ARR ($) Growth rate (%)
  62. 62. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 62 Easy...right?
  63. 63. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 63 KPIs
  64. 64. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 64 Pipeline ACVConversions Expansion Upsell Downgrades Lost Customers Transactional Upsell Net ARR Growth New ARR Upsell ARR Retained ARR
  65. 65. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 65 Leading vs. Lagging Indicators
  66. 66. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 66 SaaS metrics
  67. 67. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 67 CAC - Customer Acquisition Cost
  68. 68. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 68 CAC = marketing spend ($) + Sales costs ($) / # customers
  69. 69. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 69 LTV - Lifetime value
  70. 70. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 70 LTV = total revenue ($) over life of customer
  71. 71. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 71 LTV = Gross margin % * ( 1 / monthly churn ) * avg. monthly revenue per Customer
  72. 72. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 72 LTV : CAC = 2.5-3+
  73. 73. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 73 Payback Period - Time (months) to recover CAC
  74. 74. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 74 ACV = Avg contract value
  75. 75. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 75 Net Churn = downgrades + cancellations - upsells or Net Retention = upsells - (downgrades + cancellations)
  76. 76. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 76 Lots more...remember focus!
  77. 77. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 77 Product metrics
  78. 78. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 78 Metrics vary by business type
  79. 79. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 79 B2C
  80. 80. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 80
  81. 81. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 81 ”AARRR” (metrics for pirates) – Dave McClure
  82. 82. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 82 Acquisition Activation Retention Revenue Referral
  83. 83. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 83 Acquisition Activation Retention Revenue Referral
  84. 84. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 84 B2B
  85. 85. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 85 The only product metric that matters – Josh Elman via Mind the Product
  86. 86. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 86 Purpose - why?
  87. 87. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 87 Core Action - Key Behavior
  88. 88. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 88 Cycle - Frequency
  89. 89. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 89
  90. 90. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 90 7 Friends first 10 days
  91. 91. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 91 How to uncover?
  92. 92. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 92 Instrument your product
  93. 93. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 93 Dive deeply into data
  94. 94. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 94 View user sessions
  95. 95. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 95 Create dashboards and reporting
  96. 96. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 96 Run experiments and evaluate
  97. 97. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 97 Engineering Metrics
  98. 98. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 98 Basic: estimating and story points
  99. 99. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 99 Fibonacci: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13
  100. 100. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 100 Velocity = story points completed per sprint
  101. 101. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 101 “If you're looking at averages, not distributions, you'll always be confused about why things are taking so long.” – Adrian Cockcroft, #devopsdays
  102. 102. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 102
  103. 103. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 103 Flow-based metrics
  104. 104. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 104 Throughput = stories completed per sprint
  105. 105. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 105 Cycle Time = How long it takes for a story to get through our process
  106. 106. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 106 Work In Process = number of stories being worked at a given time
  107. 107. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 107 Little’s Law = WIP = Throughput * CT
  108. 108. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 108 Little’s Law’s most useful for influencing behavior
  109. 109. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 109 Be the WIP master
  110. 110. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 110 Takeaways:
  111. 111. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 111 Find your single metric Focus your teams Calculate your capacity Limit your WIP
  112. 112. Intro Chapter 1: High Functioning Teams Chapter 2: Metrics Chapter 3: Process to Enhance not Impede Homework
  113. 113. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 113 Be vulnerable. Hold trust. Express appreciation. – Jean Tabaka
  114. 114. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 114 "Vulnerability is the foundation of trust and trust is the foundation of great teams." – Tribal Unity, Em Campbell Pretty
  115. 115. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 115
  116. 116. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 116 Learn how Agile really works
  117. 117. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 117 Understand where agile does and does not work
  118. 118. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 118 start small and let the word spread
  119. 119. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 119 Agile: lead with Scrum
  120. 120. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 120 Process with a little ‘p’
  121. 121. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 121 Little Room Planning
  122. 122. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 122 Q2 Q3 Q4 1. Every 3-6 months Exec team dives deep into strategy & sets business Themes 2. Every quarter Product & Engineering leads craft Initiatives & Epics 3. Every 6 weeks Agile teams “Little Room Plan” where they refine & break down Epics
  123. 123. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 123 Q2 Q3 Q4 mid-quarter Q3 “Little Room Planning”: 6 weeks of broken down Epics as estimated Stories ...and 6 following weeks of high- level Epics Themes Initiatives & Epics
  124. 124. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 124 Q3 Q4 mid-quarter Mid-Q3 “LRP”: ...and 6 following weeks of high- level Epics mid-quarter 6 weeks of broken down Epics as estimated Stories Themes Initiatives
  125. 125. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 125 Takeaways:
  126. 126. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 126 Build trust Be agile Little ‘p’ for startups
  127. 127. Intro Chapter 1: High Functioning Teams Chapter 2: Metrics Chapter 3: Process to Enhance not Impede Homework
  128. 128. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 128 Tomorrow, focus on the one most impactful thing
  129. 129. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 129
  130. 130. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 130 Thank you
  131. 131. Product Development Playbook: Jeremy & Steve, DSW 2017 | 131 Questions?
  132. 132. www.apto.com | 888-633-6424 | @aptotude

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