A Narrative on Product Management

Jean-Luc David came to Queens to share his experiences and stories in Product Management to Venture For Canada Fellows imparting wisdom, laughs and google glasses on the way

“For every company you have to measure the ROI of do we buy this company or do we develop this ourselves”

“The industrial design for the original Xbox was designed by Nike”

“The first Xbox was the incredible hulk. The new Xbox is going to be Bruce Lee (JDK, Michael Jaeger)”

“Burton [JDK] created the design for the Xbox 360 but more importantly they made a vision statement for that product and the vision statement was less Hulk and more Bruce Lee… Every design decision was based on the statement less Hulk, more Bruce Lee

“A computer on every desk, in every home (Bill Gates)”

“Tangible examples of vision statements that are actionable”

“What I use is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

· Facebook = Love and Belonging

· LinkedIn = Safety

· Instagram = Esteem

· Casper = Physiological

“The best MVP tests the premise that you have to spend money”

“One thing I can recommend, especially for this group, is go to Hackathons!”

“Figure out all the reporters who will most likely write about your product”

“Identify features that are differentiators”

“How many people are interested in crowd-funding campaigns… Okay, great… You’re not going to like what I’m going to say about it”

“How do you jump the [early adopters] chasm…”

“Growth hacking is not quite illegal (you may go to court but you won’t get thrown in jail), not ethical (you feel a little queasy in your stomach) and 100% effective.”

“People overload Growth hacking, and I firmly believe growth hacking has the three characteristics I identified, if it does not have those three characteristics then it is Growth Marketing”

See if you can find how LinkedIn, Uber, Airbnb, and PayPal growth hacked their way past the Chasm.

“Growth hacking is lighter fluid for your start-up”

“Averages hide facts — need to look at [Customer] segments separately”

“Analytics is the measurement of movement towards your business goals”

“Personas make you think you are only targeting a very specific segment of the audience… if you think about it you are leaving out a lot of people who might be your customers”

“Even the creator of personas is iffy on personas”

“There is the press friendly stats and then there is the actual stats”

“Don’t get dazzled by articles… it’s the vanity metrics”

“Another danger is some Start-Up founders believe in their vanity metrics”

“You have to think about your metric: what is the most important number that you have to show on your dashboard to prove you actually succeeded”

“Aggregate your data, look for when people are saying the same things.”

“This data is as important as verbatim data from customers… why? Because customers may tell you one thing but do something else.”

Jean-Luc explained some of the more interesting aspects of the start-up world ranging from growth hacking to vision. But one thing that he constantly came back to regardless of the subject was his interactions and experiences that led him to learn what he was now teaching us. Whether it was at a hackathon, conference or during experiences with his various start-ups, Jean-Luc actively sought out applied learning opportunities (and relayed that learning to us). This is something that we can all do — seek out and learn from hands-on experiences.

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