Product Management Lessons from Google and Makemytrip


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A set of lessons and observations from Google, Makemytrip and IBM on how to practice product management.

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  • Explain the various roles and how PM is different. LinkedIn data for search “product” role where region is India vs. where region is USA. 5K in India. 300K in USA. Big challenge.REPEATABLE way.
  • There is a lot of good material on the Customer Discovery and Development process by Steve Blank and others. I strongly recommend it.
  • Product Management Lessons from Google and Makemytrip

    1. 1. Product Management Techniques From Google & Makemytrip Amit Somani, Chief Products Officer, Twitter: @amitsomani
    2. 2. What is Product Management and why should you care? • Product is confused with various roles – Project – Program – User Experience – Engineering – Market • Very few PMs in region PMs are “Jack of All Trades” who find and solve customer problems in a repeatable, scalable and profitable way
    3. 3. India’s Largest Online Travel Co Experienced Global Leadership Team • Best in class leadership talent from top global companies • 2nd Best Place to Work in India per GPTW 2010 Hybrid Online/Offline Business Model • 20 stores + 14 franchisees, 200 B2B agents, 24 x 7 Call Centres, Mobile Pioneer and Leader for Online Travel in India • 48% Market share in 2009 as per Phocuswright • Over 1.5M registered users • Recent IPO on NASDAQ in USA Broad range of Travel and Transportation options • Domestic and International Air, Bus, Rail, Car, Hotels and Holidays • Sister property called (for travel research and planning). Advanced and Scalable Technology Platform • Robust technology foundation with superior user experience
    4. 4. IT TYPICALLY STARTS WITH A ISION IT TYPICALLY STARTS WITH A VISION Where are you going and why? What do you believe in and what DON’T you? Image: tg/s800/releaf%201%20009.jpg
    6. 6. Aspire for 80% of your prospects to LOVE your product (not 100%) One of the most important lessons in Product Management is learning to say “NO” (to features, and surprisingly, even to customers)! (its cool even if the remaining 20% hate it)
    7. 7. PM Techniques in a Nutshell INSIGHT & INNOVATION CUSTOMER OBSESSION OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE What’s the breakthrough customer or technical insight ? Are willing to pay attention to the stuff that’s not sexy? Meet, talk with, listen to, read everything you can about every customer/prospect!
    8. 8. Insight and Innovation: Few Google examples
    9. 9. Insight and Innovation: Makemytrip Buddy Cities
    10. 10. Innovation can be offline too: Makemytrip Charters Source: Boeing Website
    11. 11. Customer Obsession: Discovery and Feedback ages/1809/mp_main_wide_SiliguriCallCenter.jpg
    12. 12. Focus on Users and Use Cases, Not on Features More about the Making of Google Calendar at
    13. 13. Makemytrip Rails: Innovation based on what we wanted (validated with customers)
    14. 14. Operational Excellence: When do you launch? •Dogfood everything (Employees, Friends/Family, Alpha/Beta/Gamma…. ) •Declare Day 1, Week 1, Month 1 metrics for BEFORE the launch • Figure out when you’re “ready” Pre-launch •Study the hourly, daily, weekly data (7x24x265) •Report on pre-launch metrics •Sleep  Post-launch Hour N Date 1 Date 2 Date 3 4-week Avg Metric 1 132 156 133 100 Metric 2 1438 1824 1472 1548 Metric 3 370 343 256 243 Metric 4 1070 240 781 827 Metric 5 84 66 58 55 Metric 6 14 22 6 12 Metric 7 37 63 34 41
    15. 15. Operational Excellence: The little things also matter! • Macro- and micro- Conversions • Don’t ignore the P/L (re-learnt quickly after leaving Google ;-) • Post-sales is important • Calls/Transaction, CSAT/Net Promoter •Take *awesome* notes •Talk to customers content/uploads/2010/08/doctor_stethoscope.png
    16. 16. What Google & Makemytrip typically don’t do ? • Not a big culture for BRDs, MRDS, PRDs, etc. – Mocks, Wikis, Technical Design Docs, etc. • Rarely a 12+ month roadmap (not the same as vision). • Keep an eye on competition but don’t obsess about it – Focus on the customer instead • Don’t worry about money, solve a user problem! – Sorry, that’s Google – don’t try this at your startup ;-) • Very, very few large teams (>5-7 people) for any one product
    17. 17. Summary • Have a vision – know what you believe in! • Focus on the breakthrough technical and/or customer insight. • Find every opportunity to interact with customers • Operational Excellence – do the “little” things