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Qasar Younis - Prioritising Features and Talking to Users

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Qasar Younis has worked in product and engineering roles in both big companies and his own startups. Along with that, he spent 3 years at Y Combinator as partner and COO. In this session we’ll dive into what it really means to make something people want and why that’s easier said than done.

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Qasar Younis - Prioritising Features and Talking to Users

  1. 1. Product Prioritizing features & talking to users Qasar Younis August 2017
  2. 2. What we will discuss: 1. Background 2. Three product lessons from startups 3. Three product lessons from Google 4. How to talk to users 5. How to prioritize what to build 6. Getting better
  3. 3. My background1/6 Eng 1999 PM 2004 2008 Finance Product YC 2014 Eng Today Take Aways: 1. Old 2. Spent lots of years shipping product (influenced by Google) 3. Bias towards software MBA 20102006
  4. 4. Product excellence requires multiple skills1/6 DESIGN ENG MARKET * This talk is for PMs
  5. 5. What makes a product great? 1. Accomplishes a specific task elegantly 2. Returns more value than it takes 3. What one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning 1/6 Empathetic
  6. 6. What we will discuss: 1. Background 2. Three product lessons from startups 3. Three product lessons from Google 4. How to talk to users 5. How to prioritize what to build 6. Getting better
  7. 7. 3 product lessons from startup2/6 When you’re small, momentum is everything Talking to users is the life blood of the company It’s not enough that users love your product
  8. 8. What we will discuss: 1. Background 2. Three product lessons from startups 3. Three product lessons from Google 4. How to talk to users 5. How to prioritize what to build 6. Getting better
  9. 9. 3 product lessons from Google3/6 Understand the mindset of your organization How you prioritize what to build is critical Shifting from P to M
  10. 10. What we will discuss: 1. Background 2. Three product lessons from startups 3. Three product lessons from Google 4. How to talk to users 5. How to prioritize what to build 6. Getting better
  11. 11. How to talk to users 1. Unstructured 2. Structured 3. Recurring 4/6 Three types of feedback: New company Maturing company
  12. 12. How to talk to users: unstructured feedback • Founding team experience • User interviews • Open ended survey questions 4/6 Unstructured feedback is input about your product that has to be interpreted subjectively. • Document your assumptions (5 whys) • Find users — from CL to labs • Google Consumer Surveys Examples How to do it
  13. 13. How to talk to users: structured feedback • Google Analytics • Mixpanel • Optimizely 4/6 Structured feedback is any programmatic way to understand user behavior. • Just sign up! Examples How to do it
  14. 14. How to talk to users: recurring • CSAT • Net promoter score • Intercom 4/6 Recurring users can give you different types of feedback that can measure lots of different aspects of your business. • Home made CSAT • Sign up for Intercom Examples How to do it
  15. 15. What we will discuss: 1. Background 2. Three product lessons from startups 3. Three product lessons from Google 4. How to talk to users 5. How to prioritize what to build 6. Getting better
  16. 16. How to prioritize what to build5/6 - Lots of feedback = lots of debate - Conflicting feedback - Limited resources (especially when you’re young) Within organizations:
  17. 17. How to prioritize what to build5/6 1. Clear product leader in the company. That means 1 person. 2. Define the behavior you want — the smaller the increment, the better. 3. Build and test one assumption at a time. 4. Try to predict behavior. 5. Improve the organization. Five tactical steps:
  18. 18. What we will discuss: 1. Background 2. Three product lessons from startups 3. Three product lessons from Google 4. How to talk to users 5. How to prioritize what to build 6. Getting better
  19. 19. Taking advice & becoming a great product person - Everyone thinks they are a good product person - Takes years of building and shipping to become good - Be very careful of who you take advice from (“Give me someone who has shipped something”) 6/6 Things I’ve learned Read these things: Ship. Ship. Ship. - Ben Horowitz: “Good PM, Bad PM” - Ken Norton: “How to Hire a Product Manager”
  20. 20. Thank you. Blair Adams María Villamil Mahmure Alp Vicons Design Becris Arena Reed Icon credits:

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