Believe it or not, “pre” and “post” product-market fit are two different worlds that require different approaches, different mindsets, different budgets, and, of course, different resources in your team. While no one can argue with regards to the awesomeness of finding product-market fit, executing a confirmed plan can be tricky since we all know “the devil is in the details”.
Successful product managers are capable of adapting the products they manage through change. Some changes can be introduced by external market factors affecting all or most of the competitors, but most changes emerge as part of the competition between the players in the market. One of the best ways to track changes in your competition monitoring strategy is to track these three aspects:
As a precondition, the founders and product managers work together to define the vision, the mission, the product values and identify the market opportunities.
1. Introduction – the Minimum Viable Product #mvp is launched with the objective of validating the riskiest assumptions with early adopters type of users. The team works fast and the product manager drives the product in a direction that is more likely to help the team reach the product-market fit.
2. Growth – once the product-market fit is reached, the demand for the product or the volume of sales increase substantially. These are the signs that the product was accepted by the market. The product manager works intensely on user acquisition and conversion strategies.
3. Maturity – sales reach the climax and the competition is strong. The product manager works on retention lifecycle frameworks dealing with behavioral cohorts analysis and more.
4. Decline – sales diminish or the product is deprecated. Phasing-out a product is as important as its introduction. The process needs to be planned at least 12 months in advance. The product manager works with sales, marketing, engineering and support to coordinate activities for phasing out the product.