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Product Management/Strategy Related Articles

The ‘Good Enough’ Product

Lately, I have been thinking about the products that I use on a daily basis. Right from my phone to different software / hardware to the vehicles and here is a simple observation. Most of the products that have stuck are ‘good enough’ for me. For e.g. my XUV is just good enough for me (feature pack vs. utility vs. price matrix). I could have gone for a much better (and costlier) product – but this just fits in for me. Same with most of the products we end up using – the ‘coolness’ gets over in some time. What sticks isn’t how cool the product is (or the swanky UI), but whether it fits into your ‘way of things’, into your ‘life context’. For example, one of the ugliest looking product in the India internet industry is…N...

A Look at Haptik’s Insurance Chatbot : Running banner ads would have been better

So Haptik has launched insurance bot in partnership with HDFCLife Insurance and here is a quick take on that. This chatbot aims to assist the customers with insurance advice – ranging from Health to Tax Planning & Retirement, based on a simple 60-second quiz which enables it to compute their Insurance Quotient. Calculated using different parameters under each insurance category, the Insurance Quotient is an indicative score for each individual, based on which, HDFC Life can recommend the best suited insurance plans for the user. The chatbot not only works as a personal financial advisor, but also brings to the forefront the universal need for life insurance [from the PR] First of all, the insurance bot is active only for 2 weeks (which is a big sales win for Haptik as this is the prime...

Of QR code, consumers and pain does create tech use-cases

For many years, companies have been trying to make QR code look cool. Right from device manufacturers to the advertising agencies, they all have been many (creative) attempts to get QR code to mainstream audience. But then, most of them actually failed miserably (especially in India), even though most of the devices supported QR code readers (apps). But then, something happened in 2016 and well, QR code is in fashion now (even govt is launching BharatQR). The company that actually brought back QR code to mainstream? I believe, Paytm*. Thanks to demonetisation, everybody started using Paytm (there was NO alternative) and shopkeepers were (almost) forced to display their Paytm QR code for a swift transaction. Nobody called it QR code but just “yeh scan kar lo – aapke app main num...

How Google sets Goals : OKRs. Have you tried this in your org?

OKRs stands for Objectives & Key Results what will be set on quarterly basis and are applicable for each and every individual in the company. It was first implemented in Google and later in major tech startups. Here is a video which talks about OKR in depth. I believe that’s a great process that ensure the startups can track, measure and improve what they want to achieve at an individual level. However, I think some of the methods / guidelines needs to be tweaked a bit based on the state of the company, industry etc. Has anyone here (founders / product managers) implemented (or tried) OKRs in your organisation? What challenges did you face? Would have to have a healthy discussion with some actionable items.

Of clients vs customers and why Basecamp doesn’t sell on per seat basis #SAASPricing

Basecamp is one heck of a growth business and the company has been known for its red eyed focus on minimalistic features that appeals to its target customer base. As part of its focus, the company recently shared how the simplistic pricing strategy has actually helped them stay focused even at the cost of losing some big $$. Why no per seat pricing for Basecamp? The problem with per-seat pricing is that it by definition makes your biggest customers your best customers. With money comes influence, if not outright power. And from that flows decisions about what and who to spend time on. There’s no way to be immune from such pressure once the money is flowing. The only fix is to cap the spigot. And that’s the difference between a ‘client’ and a ‘customer’. In Bas...

Dear Quikr Product Managers, your engagement strategy is disengaging

So one of my goals for 2017 is to go really lean and sell off things which I am not using (or already have a better alternative). I have been selling on both Olx and Quikr – a detailed anecdotal comparison is for later, but here is a quick note to Quikr product team. One of Quikr’s USP is engagement – it is way more engaging than others. For every offer you receive, you get a call, sms and email; and the CTA is embedded in that (for e.g. press 1 to accept the offer). But then… Check this: How am I supposed to act on ‘Zero’ offers? A better mailer would have been on tips to create a better ad, no? Sometimes product teams take the engagement to a level where the user starts to disengage! Like SRK said in Dear Zindagi movie: Genius knows when to stop. And s...

How are you closing your emails? This line will get you the max response

How are you closing your emails? Best Regards, Sincerely. Thanks in advance. Best. ? Well, an analysis of 3,50,000 emails by Boomerang app suggests that the closing line which gets the maximum response is.. Thanks in advance . Closing with an expression of gratitude thus correlated with a whopping 36% relative increase in average response rate compared to signing off another way. Thanks in advance” had a response rate of 65.7% “Thanks” : 63% “Thank you” : 57.9% “Cheers” :54.4% “Kind regards” : 53.9% “Regards” : 53.5% “Best regards” : 52.9% “Best” : 51.2% Also noteworthy was that generic email sign-offs like “regards” had lower response rates. And it turned out that “best” was in fact worst among popul...

When design thinking & consumer psychology bounced together

I have consumed “Consumer attitude formation & change” concepts during my stint at Furlenco. Outcome :- Have designed & delivered Bounce which has enabled Furlenco to disrupt the conception of “Renting” & helped them to raise next round of funding. Problem statements faced by Furlenco :- 1.    Indian consumers had a preconceived notion that “Renting” is tacky & cheap. 2.    Renting was always considered for short term not for long term purposes ( as in , one will rent for few days rather than for long time ) 3.    Indian consumers have a sense & pride in “owning” stuff. Above 3 problems were so deep rooted that “unit economics” were not making sense for Furlenco. Root of the problem :- On how to change the attitude towards “renting” which is already learned. We went wit...

How to Design & Track Viral Growth Experiments

Note : silver bullets don’t exist!

Hans Rosling and 'the best stats'

RIP Hans Rosling.  This is probably his most amazing and simplified take on world and stats. Must watch, even if you haven’t come across any of his works.

The only metric that matters

Useful perspective on metric that matters and how it evolves. And what’s the only metric that matters? How many people are really using your product. Pretty simple – but doesn’t this cover a lot of stuff around product – onboarding / UX / utility value etc? Josh Elman has worked on Twitter , Facebook Connect, Zazzle, LinkedIn, RealPlayer and is currently the partner at Greylock.

Network effect and business models #RecommendedRead

“When figuring out a business model, carefully analyze supply and demand. To build a billion-dollar business, we think one key decision for executives of consumer marketplaces is deciding which side to charge for their service.” Very useful piece. Network Effects – The Keys to Ascending the Consumer-Internet Throne

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