How some PMs in Bulgaria think about product strategy

Q: What is a “product strategy”?

I think it is the glue between what the company aspires to be and how the product team contributes. I wrote a short post about it.

I collected some opinions from other PMs:

Henry Latham, Founder, Prod MBA (check it out):

💡Strategy is not a plan. A strategy exists where it is as clear what you DON’T do, as it is what you DO do.

Alex Marinov, Sr. PM, Uber:

When it comes to product strategy I like to keep a flexible attitude and give everyone license to change their mind.

One Atlassian product manager once described their approach to product management at a San Francisco, CA design conference with how different plays are planned in American Football 🏈. Apparently football players tackle different situations differently. And they have a playbook with game scenarios, depending on what’s happening in the entire field.

Having worked in dynamic environments at Google, Glassdoor and Uber, where things seemed to change daily, this really resonated with me. We don’t have a playbook of possible plays, but I do encourage teams to be comfortable with change and remain open to re-prioritizing market needs.

For a winning product strategy I’d try to remain flexible, try to use the product as much as possible and listen to the market, instead of relying on firmly defined long term plans.

Lora Kostova, PM, Halo Diagnostics:

In my opinion, a winning product strategy is driven by three main elements – a meaningful vision, deep user understanding, and the right team.

Having a well-defined vision that resonates with the needs of your target users, clients and employees brings focus towards long-term goals, and at the same time helps to be flexible and adapt your solutions in the constantly changing business environment we are in.

Understanding users and having a continuous feedback flow via interviewing and prototype testing sessions, as well as thorough market analysis, is crucial for informed decision-making and a good balance between must-have functionalities and delighters that move your product forward.

Finally, the right team of people who work well together while challenging each other in a productive way is the glue that makes all of the above stick together.

Mariya Rashkovska, Head of Product Management, PubGalaxy:

A winning strategy in 7 ‘easy’ steps:

  1. Be lazer-focused on one customer segment only and be intimately familiar with their needs and pain points.
  2. Choose to solve a problem which is important enough in the eyes of your customers.
  3. Make sure you know in detail what alternative solutions exist out there and define exactly how your product will be better than them – your offering must outperform those solutions on points that are important to the customer.
  4. Carefully calculate your unit economics to make sure you are aiming towards a sustainable business model.
  5. Test and iterate to find distribution channels through which you can effectively acquire new business.
  6. Start small from an MVP and execute iteratively and relentlessly.
  7. Consider attracting external funding to accelerate growth.