We recently sat down with Yelp Director of Product Management – Restaurants Marketplace, Guang Yang, to discuss building a hospitality product that serves both businesses and consumers. It’s a great chat from the perspective of someone tasked with building a product that is both B2B and B2C and how to navigate that.
On the topic of building a hospitality product that serves both businesses and consumers, Guang Yang went into detail about how his team approaches serving both. He also offered some really great advice to PMs on building great products and the skills and areas they should focus on.
On how Yelp approaches building a hospitality product for businesses and consumers
Listening to their customers on both sides of their customer base, from B2B to B2C, helps Yelp in building a hospitality product for businesses and consumers.
“So as you may know Yelp’s mission is to connect people with great local businesses. The restaurant category is really a big part of the mission. Most people come to Yelp to look for restaurants. So, and right now for consumers, we are already the most trusted source to discover restaurants. For restaurants, they all understand it’s really important to keep a great presence on Yelp.
Then we when we go talk to them, both consumers and restaurant owners. We realized that on top of the value we provide today, consumers really want a super convenient way to get a table at their favorite restaurants, regardless of whether restaurants take a reservation or don’t take reservations. I’m sure everyone has experienced it sometimes, a last-minute reservation is needed and then you can’t really find any good restaurants. Or think about your favorite brunch place, right? So chances are they would not take a reservation on Saturday morning. So there’s such a big kind of convenience opportunity here. And then for restaurants, they always want better technology to help them run a smoother operation. They want to have better hospitality and they really want to drive more diners coming through the door.
So as we’re talking to our consumers and our business owners, we start to realize they have a different need and then nobody in the market is providing a good product to meet their needs and software pinpoints. So, this is kind of the time when we start looking to say what are the products we can do? What are the features getting reviewed?”
On what makes a great PM
For Yang, there’s a distinction between good and great PMs.
“Good PMs always start to think about building a great product, solve real-world problems. A great PM, they can actually connect their customer obsession with the business sense. While building great products, they’re also delivering tremendous business value to their company.”
On advice he has for PMs
Yang offered great advice for all PMs, whether they’re building a hospitality product or otherwise.
“You can have a great understanding of your customers. You can build a great strategy and a very solid product roadmap. But if you or your team cannot execute, they mean nothing. So execution really makes or breaks your product.
No matter what stage you’re at in your career, always do your best to nail the execution. So, if you are great at execution already, awesome help your engineering team help with design to help other PMs to get better. If your team already is doing great on execution, awesome, challenge yourself to do even better. There is always room to improve from an execution standpoint. From an efficiency standpoint.”
On why you should consider price before you start building a product
Price should never be an afterthought when you’re building any product.
“For the value you provide, what is a fair price? The best products and companies really bake this into their product launch plan. It makes a huge difference because you know what’s the right price your product and features will generate revenue in a very, very responsible way. And now you can take this revenue, invest back into your team, niche, or company to make even more innovation.”
About the speaker
Guang Yang is currently the Director of Product Management - Restaurants Marketplace at Yelp. In that role, he’s working on products that really help connect hungry diners with their favorite local restaurants. This includes the delivery and pick up features as well as reservations or waitlists to get a table. Prior to joining Yelp, Yang served as a Senior Product Manager at Microsoft working on the PowerApps team.
About the host
Thomas Daly is Principal Product Manager at Samsung NEXT leading zero to one initiatives. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Product Officer for Spacious.com, which was later acquired by The We Company (WeWork). Before that, Daly was at Samsung Electronics by way of an acquisition of BOXEE, a TV-connected streaming device. He has worked in various product roles for nearly 15 years.