Welcome to Day 1 of Pulse for Product, our inaugural event geared towards those in product management roles. Child-like joy is so vital to Gainsight, and we wanted to incorporate that essence into our theme. What better way to feel like a kid again than through video games, looking back fondly on the 90s and listening to the Backstreet Boys? Yes, you read that right. Check out a sneak peek of our version of “I Want it That Way.” With the year 2020 delivering what it has, we can all feel nostalgic about turning back the hands of time to a simpler life of socializing, hugging, and unrestricted travel.
Gamers know all too well the shortcuts to ‘level up,’ allowing their character to have more abilities, advance boards, and access new tools to win. However, the skills needed to ‘level up’ for product managers are a bit more elusive as PMs often receive varying feedback from customers, sales, customer success, engineering, etc. Everyone wants something from PMs, and they are constantly juggling the roadmap for success. A PM’s role has evolved from its inception in 1931 at Proctor & Gamble to today, where companies are building rapidly in the cloud, and PMs are navigating ambiguous challenges. Gainsight is here to help!
Nick opened the day by reminding us that he started his career as a Product Manager, making him uniquely empathetic to the increasing demands on this role. PMs carry the weight of collective feedback on their shoulders, and with the right tools, they can bring the product to the finish line—ultimate customer satisfaction. In the B2B space, product-driven companies have typically grown faster at scale versus sales or marketing-led organizations.
Next, Shishir Mehrotra, CEO of Coda, joined the stage to share his lessons from leading large product management teams at Youtube and Microsoft. Mehrotra really leaned into the gaming analogies but reminding the audience that PMs should design their cadence the way developers design their video games. Game developers seek opportunities for you to unlock secret levels, jump higher, and learn new tricks. PMs should also continue to think big and build this discovery into how they deliver products users love. Coda has built this thinking into their feedback loop so that when customers open tickets, once a solution has been addressed by the team, they are immediately notified, allowing them to feel heard. The reverse is also true—the team will use customer data and identify the right segment to test new features based on past usage.
To wrap the keynote, our Director of Product Marketing for PX, Priyanka Srinivasan, led a panel discussion with Talia Goldberg, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, and Blake Bartlett, Partner at OpenView Venture Partners, to dive into how to build the next ‘unicorn’ product. Bessemer invests in beloved tech, including Twilio, Shopify, and DocuSign, while OpenView invests in household names, including DataDog, Calendly, and Expensify.
Bartlett is one of the original people who coined the phrase “product-led growth.” To understand the path to a unicorn, one must understand this phrase. During his tenure at OpenView, Bartlett noticed that Shopify and Twilio grew faster and with capital efficiency relative to other companies in the portfolio. Their inability to require tradeoffs between growth and profitability was unique at the time. The common thread was that they started the customer journey with self-service and put the product at the center of the experience. Goldberg and Bartlett also dove deeper into the role of sales and marketing in a product-led organization, growth teams, the characteristics of a SaaS company for which PLG is a good go-to-market strategy, and exciting companies they have their eye on to potentially be the next Snowflake!
Next week we’ll begin sharing recaps of all the sessions, but without giving it away, there were many insights shared on topics that continue to be top of mind for PMs. Gainsight has answers straight from product leaders at Product School, Monday, Seismic, Adobe, and Anodot from Day 1.
- How does the PM team tier releases to ensure the right audience gets the right message to make the biggest impact at launch?
- How do you measure success for a launch? Revenue or Reach? Both?
- Does the Bowling Alley Framework make sense for your product?
- MQLs, SQL, or PQLs—when do you use each of these metrics to define success?
- How does WAPP as a KPI allow Monday.com to drive enhanced customer experiences?
- How does your product strategy shift during a pandemic when your product is business monitoring like Anodot?
- What is the optimal product operations tech stack?
- How do you design the optimal experiment to determine the best in-product tour?
We hope some of these questions have piqued your interest. If you missed Day 1, don’t fret! Register now to catch the remaining two days live and then go back and watch the replay of Day 1. We hope to see you back tomorrow, where we’ll be making some major Gainsight product announcements and hear from product leaders at Google, Gong, Email on Acid, and more.