Classifying the Product Manager’s work into 2 categories 🛣️
PMs' efforts are usually invested in improving the organization’s success metric which is largely circumventing around in increasing revenue or MRR, reducing customer acquisition costs, or increasing contribution margin.
If we closely monitor, none of these metrics directly help in providing value to the users. In order to grow the organization’s success metric, it should prioritize delivering value to the users.
PMs work can be classified into below categories :
- Focus on delivering value to users — For instance, key features which reduce the pain points of users in achieving their goal, usability, cross-platform support, privacy, reliability & speed.
- Focus on deriving value from users — Such initiatives include increasing the price, improving monetization across all touchpoints, and improving engagement rates through hacks.
We have been nurtured & trained to address “Focus on deriving value from users” first because that helps us to pay our bills :). However, a product-driven culture at the organization should ideally aim at providing value to the users first. Users will only provide value back to the organization when their wants and needs are actually fulfilled.
Let’s address the concerns which arise when we are obsessed with deriving value from users :
- There is a huge disadvantage as organizations become detached from their users that they treat them as just metrics in the dashboard rather than real users with goals, capabilities, and constraints. They aren’t able to identify the gaps in the current solution & they conveniently ignore sustainable paths riding on previous success.
- Organizations become complacent as they are more comfortable measuring their own internal metrics rather than taking a stand from the customer perspective and capturing tough metrics such as the happiness index of the users while interacting with your product.
- Once the MVP is launched, it is easier to capture the easy wins first, and thought-provoking & innovative ideas to improve user experience takes the back seat. This habit consumes the resource unless the organization wishes to break the shackles and bring innovation & elevation in user experience to the forefront.
However, it is crucial to understand that business outcomes are absolutely critical as well. Achieving a balance between delivering user value and business results is a tricky equation. The product team ensures the product delivers real user value and can do so profitably, and the sales & marketing team leverage as much business value as they can be based on the potential user value inherent in the product.
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