Truths of Enterprise Product Management: Addressing B2B Stigma (Part 1)
Giving B2B Some Recognition
My name is Renee Koga, the Head of Product at the cybersecurity startup Nyotron. I’ve been in the product space for quite some time working with large enterprise companies with 20,000 employees to smaller startups with 25 employees. I’ve worked on all kinds of nerdy stuff, encryption, antivirus virtualization and other products like that. Early in my career, I worked on tape libraries. Believe it or not, most on-prem data centers will have something like this to save the data from those servers in case of a hardware failure or ransomware attack or something like that.
I don’t know about you, but I attend quite a few product management conferences, meetups, and talks. In my opinion, it seems like it’s always the b2c that gets the limelight. It’s Uber, Airbnb, Pinterest, and Facebook, getting the attention. I think that’s great that they’re getting the limelight. But, as I like to say, businesses of the world don’t run on Snapchat alone. So there is a lot of cool stuff going on in the enterprise space.
There are two goals for this talk. One, if you’re already in the B2B space, this will hopefully help you get your mojo back. And two, getting you interested in B2B product management- if you’re thinking about getting into that space.
Feature Vs. Experience
Now, let’s talk about B2B product management. Anyone remember the “I’m a Mac” ads? Attending many of the PM talks in Silicon Valley, I think that theme runs parallel with B2C PMs and B2B PMs. At least, that’s the impression I get. Typically, the B2B products are often quite abstract. It’s difficult to relate to and is often difficult to explain. So, no wonder B2B product management is considered the PC guy in those old Mac ads.
B2B products often do not focus on the esthetics, and it’s not often focused on an amazing user experience. Instead, it’s more focused on these checkboxes and these buttons. That’s the B2B product management way, the more buttons the better. You can compare this to Microsoft, this old school enterprise way of thought.
At the end of an enterprise company, you expect lots of cool checkboxes and features. I even created a chart of “Rene’s super scientific Magic Quadrant of coolness perception”. So on the x-axis, it’s the consumer versus enterprise. And the y-axis, it’s hot versus not. And as you can see, not that many hot enterprise companies out there, maybe slack is an exception. Anyways, this chart is just for laughs and giggles. Now, let’s address the B2B side and talk about what is actually pretty cool and not so cool about enterprise products.
Click Here For Part 2 (live on 10/17)
Click Here For Part 3 (live on 10/18)
About the speaker
Rene Kolga is the Head of Product & VP of Strategy at Nyotron, specializing in cybersecurity solutions. Rene has more than 20 years of experience in the software industry across several functions - managing international projects at several Fortune 500 companies and startups in Silicon Valley.
About the host
Jessica Chen Riolfi has spent her career taking companies international, and currently accelerates TransferWise’s mission around the world. At TransferWise, she started off by globalizing TransferWise’s product and now leads the Asia region, managing 13 countries and a significant chunk of the £800 million transferred on a monthly basis by TransferWise customers. Previously, she drove international growth at eBay and Amazon. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Dartmouth College.