She provides us with a guide on what to do in this situation by:
- Staying innovative
- Creating a framework for success
Watch the video to see Lindsay’s talk in full (view her slides here.) Or read on for an overview of her key points.
Soon after she started at FreshBooks, Lindsay was given a task to assume that she was at a startup with a short runway and her goal was to ship a new MVP. Why would a company that was beyond the startup stage seek to do this? The company wanted to try new things but the technology for the app was outdated and the market was becoming very competitive with new startups on the scene. Innovation requires risk. By viewing the problem as a startup would, FreshBooks was able to maintain the product that current customers loved and then iterate and innovate for a new product until it was ready.
Framework for Success
As a product manager, embracing the process of staying innovative can provide you with a few advantages. However, there are a few things you need to remember as on the surface it might seem like we can eliminate previous mistakes, but this isn’t always ideal.
Embrace patterns, even if they aren’t optimal. Creating a pattern helps to provide consistency across products. For example, you can avoid wasting design cycles and make a product easy to use by ensuring that every feature fits a certain pattern and isn’t just standalone. Develop principles that are oriented around the user. This helps to reduce complexity and can help you to avoid adding unnecessary invasive notifications. Communicate heuristics to avoid repeating mistakes and make sure you write things down.
The final takeaways from Lindsay’s talk are that thinking like a startup can be challenging for a growing company. However, it’s important to stay innovative if you want to beat the competition. You can, therefore, make your life as a product manager easier if you stick to patterns, develop principles, communicate heuristics and write stuff down.
Read more on Product/Market Fit
To learn more about product/market fit – what it means, how to get to it, and what our role as product managers is in maintaining it, check out A Guide to Product/Market Fit.