It’s not even worth mentioning. And frankly feels a bit weird to write about this after over a year of the actual event happening.
Initially the idea was to absorb as much as possible & share the “learning” with my fellow designers, developers & product managers back at the office. I diligently took notes at the product talk for over 10 hours spanning two days. Typed the whole thing out & shared the link to the google doc with everyone in the team. I deliberately kept the notes a bit cryptic, hoping to get comments & start off discussions. But none of that happened. Now, I had a document lying in my drive, which was like an year old & no body other than me has read. Talk about wasted effort, eh!?
Thankfully, there is Medium. So here are the notes!
Swiggy (company)/Anuj (speaker)/ Prioritization(topic)
- It is important to set the context for your product team
- You should know what kind of people you are working for, life & educational background of these people
- Management is always greedy- they will always want to extract the most out of any given resource. Hence you have to ask the question- “Why do you want it?”
- You can either work on a road-map which is handed down to you or build you own. If you don’t make your own, one will be shoved on to you.
- Frame work- 50% Focus on Customer, 10% Focus on competition, 20% Focus on economics, 20% Focus on Future
- It is important not to “tell your idea” but to “show it”. Any form of mock-up goes a long way in moving priority of a task higher than others
- All PMs should work together towards creating a singular road-map that they can push through.
- Every quarter, the road-map should be rinsed & re-prioritized
- Say “No” extremely clearly to establish expectations. A mildly said “No” will most definitely be taken as a “Yes”.
- All product teams seek autonomy
- The story of Go-cash: Revolutionary idea in 2013–14. Share contact book to get go-cash.
- It was heavily adopted. It soon became a marketing & acquisition tool
- This led to GoCash being abused. Too much GoCash was deposited in the users’ account
- Soon, the users had 100K+ GoCash but they could use less than 2% of this on flight/Hotel bookings
- Expectation mismatch led to increase in customer complaint
- Finally customers became GoCash “blind” i.e, any amount of GoCash can no longer move any user engagement/purchase
- Accounting issue- earlier the accounting was made on “burn basis”. Which meant that the vertical (hotels/flights) where the GoCash was being used had to adjust it in their balance sheet. This led to people earning GoCash on hotels and wanting to spend on flights. Airlines were not happy with this since they were already operating on low margins and hence had little room to adjust GoCash discounts.
- This was a major case of misalignment between teams. This happened because of
> Too many goals & strategies
> Meeting after meeting
> Handed down road-maps set in stone (cannot be questioned or modified)
> Lack of trust among the teams
> Shifting of goal post
> A large backlog of tasks which were once “High impact tasks” pointing towards a stale road-map or a road-map which isn’t revised regularly
> Forceful alignment — when CEO/Founder intervenes
- It is important to note that your co-workers are not stupid/selfish. Misalignment occurs because of extreme complexity with very little context
GoCash Course correction?
- New path: Users will go to the platforms which have certain amount of social trust
- It was important to establish correct metrics. A lot of effort should be invested into choosing the metrics to be chased
- A loyal customer = People who buys on platform + People who add value to the platform. Example could be a person in a remote place who uses Goibibo to book tickets for everyone around on the platform. This person is practically creating more value than a person who just individually buys product on the platform. Such people should be identified and rewarded.
- Finally, the accounting was changed from Burn basis to Earn basis. This meant that if GoCash was earned on Hotels, the accounting of the Hotels business had to include this in their P&L. It did not depend on who gave the discount on burning this GoCash.
- This sparked “Cross-Collaboration”. Overlapping of missions ensured that teams were finally reinforcing each other rather than pulling in different directions.
Part 2: Gojek, NerdWallet, Byju’s