Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Startup founders cheatsheet (Chief product officer)

Define your goals 
The basic definition of "mission" and "vision" of the company is critical when we've past the stage of experimenting with the startup's model and helps you prioritise better. From the Expedia page it looks like this: "Our Mission is to Revolutionise Travel Through the Power of Technology", in this case, it is also helping the company know that leveraging and scaling with "technology" is imperative for the company (along with operations). 

Set 2-3 basic targets for the next 2-3 months (possibly 6 months)
These might be pretty standard and should align with the mission / vision of the company. If your company wants to be the #1 company in Asia for travel, these basic targets might be:
  • Scale to 100,000 app downloads across platforms
  • Increase revenue by 15%
  • Increase daily unique visitors to 3 times the current value  

Image Source: Mind the product

Goals help define epics and create a huge backlog
Now brainstorming how the targets above can be achieved, we create a good backlog of tests we could run that essentially are experiments which help you scale. If I look at point #1, to increase the number of app downloads you could:
  • Market - Inbound / Outbound
  • Share - social / emailing / texting friends of existing users
  • Increase platforms supported (now that you are coming up with iOS and Windows, you are likely to increase the reach)
  • Focus on support 
  • And more.. (the list could go on) 
​With the limited bandwidth, we should prioritise based on a couple of factors:
  • How much is the anticipated impact? - talking in terms of the goal (this would help us reach 6000 more app downloads in the next 1 week based on what other apps have done) 
  • T-Shirt estimates of the epics - focus on achieving something that keeps us running (since we're a startup) is essential, so the cost/benefit factor is essential. 
Create experiments / pre-MVPs
Keeping the creativity scientific is quite essential for any company. If we can potentially put up unscalable hacks to test the market (say 1% of the users) - then we should. In this example, if we can leverage phonegap to basically increase our platform reach as an experiment (maybe for legacy platforms like symbian or blackberry) and that can happen in a few days - then we should, before investing our technology resources toward building a full fledged app for any platform. 

Define MVPs
Pretty standard. - see wikipedia

Other aspects
  • Iterate 
  • Define KPIs and monitor (increase in Downloads, Usage per platform in hours etc.)
  • Validate before things go to production 
  • Define roll out strategy (Geography / Percentage of the users)
  • Test 
  • Plan and discuss with technology and business (scrums / sprint planning / retrospective)
  • Validate what works best for the company (evolve with feedback on what's being done wrong) 

Startup founders cheatsheet (Chief product officer)

Define your goals  The basic definition of "mission" and "vision" of the company is critical when we've past the...