Top 3 Product Priorities

Your Startups Top 3 Priorities

 Once you have built your product and it’s in the market, there are only three things that matter: distribution (getting the product into users’ hands), engagement(validating that you’ve built the right product and that users are using it), and monetization (making money from those engaged users). This is your strategy.

Breaking strategy into these three parts makes it easy – you now have a template, a stencil for describing your strategy.

Fill it in with the top 2 to 3 initiatives per quarter. Explain it to your board, solicit feedback, then hold a town hall and describe it to your team. Then get back to building your company!

Tom Tunguz wrote an amazingly succinct post regarding what the core focus startups, and I would argue all product teams, should be. Regardless of what problem your product solves, the goal of the company is to open the flood gates of users to your product with the hope of retaining a high percentage, and then have them pay for something. Maybe it’s with time, their contacts, or actual cash. You may defer your monetization strategy for a bit, but you most definitely don’t want to waffle on what your strategy is for obtaining great distribution and strong engagements.

The natural order for these are key too. You can try to A/B test or do customer validation all you want — but if your user base isn’t large enough then you’re really wasting your time. I usually recommend to clients that they really shouldn’t try and analyze any online data until their traffic is larger than 5,000 a month at a minimum. And with that, for any test you do this means waiting an actual month because trying to get valid data from 100-160 people a day will be too volatile. Sure, you work with what you have, but your focus until that point should be on priority number one: Distribution. Then, and only after you reach that minimal threshold should you really start trying to measure your engagement metrics. It doesn’t mean that you ignore it while your building your product, any worthwhile UX-er will agree that you start with best practices and whatever your gut tells you. From there you test for Engagement, and the money will just start rolling in right?  ;)

What else? Do you agree or disagree with the simplicity of this priority strategization?  How would you fit this into your roadmap as a startup or mid-large size company?


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