Note: This AMA is closed for new questions, but you can check out the existing conversations below.
In this AMA, we had Janna Bastow — the co-founder and CTO of ProdPad and one of the founders of the much-loved product managers’ community, Mind The Product — share her thoughtful insights getting closer to PMF, managing your product roadmap like a pro, building an ardently loved community, survivorship bias that most founders face, and more. Dive in!
Janna’s brain pickings:
Here are some curated links to help you know Janna’s journeys and thought process a little better.
On PMF and why it is a moving target:
“Product/market fit is a moving target. It’s not a fixed goal, nor is it a singularity. It’s more of a window that moves, usually away from you, as the market matures. Your competitors up the ante, new technologies become available and change expectations, your target market matures and changes, and so what you thought was a goal some years ago will not be a fit by the time you get there.”
Source: Finding Product/Market Fit
On behind-the-scenes of building a product people love:
- “More often than not, any SaaS tool could be replaced by a spreadsheet or a whiteboard. At least a basic version. When you realize that a pen and paper is your competitor it becomes very difficult. You have to be very conscious of how you differentiate yourself.”
- “It was a conscious decision not to take funding. We realized that if we took funding, then it would put us down a particular path that may or may not be the right one for us, based on how we work, our company culture, and what it is that we’re looking to achieve.”
- “In a perfect world, there would be a trained product manager behind every great product. But if you’re in the early stages of startup-dom, it is likely to be one of the myriad hats you wear as founder.”
Source: Building a Product that People LOVE with Janna Bastow of ProdPad
On building early-stage product roadmaps:
“When you’re very young and you’ve just got this MVP out there and a handful of customers giving you feedback there’s actually nothing wrong with having a small set of features that are being built next. But as you go it becomes overwhelming to look at a roadmap that’s a whole pile of features, and you’ll need to start grouping them into themes around the kinds of problems you’re solving… as you start building out a bigger roadmap you need to communicate a bigger story than just, ’We’re going to launch these features and see what happens.’”
Source: Mind the Product’s Janna Bastow on building product roadmaps
On what comprehensive experimentation looks like:
“Well, one of the things that occurred to us quite early on was that pricing was one of these things that a lot of people get nervous about changing, like as they get nervous about testing on and changing and iterating on. When in reality, pricing is just one aspect of your product. Just like you might be iterating on a checkout page in order to get conversion rates up, you should be iterating on your pricing and your packaging and your proposition to make sure that you’ve got the best combinations available there.”
Source: Value-based pricing for the win
Stay in touch:
You can follow Janna to stay updated with her discoveries and insights:
- Janna on Twitter
- Janna on LinkedIn