Slack Product Lead on Growth Products (Part 3)

It is important to understand where empathy fits in the process of developing growth products. The first step or foundation in the process is to find your product market fit. The next step is to find a “North Star” or ultimate goal for your product.

Once you have a North Star, this will help to identify metrics and collect data that will provide your team with new opportunities for growth. Many companies skip this step – and I want to give an example of what happens when you don’t have the right metrics.

I worked at a startup that created a product to help businesses find public spaces to reach new customers. When I started, our North Star was to offer the “biggest marketplace” for public spaces. With this, we added as many public spaces as possible to our marketplace.

When I looked at the data, I noticed that virtually all of our transactions were in three zip codes in New York City. I started talking to our users and figured out that our product-market fit was best suited for fashion – which involves high foot traffic in very specific areas of a city.

Using this data, we quickly realized that our original North Star and metrics needed to be modified. Our growth strategy shifted from increasing spaces to making the most popular spaces more engaging. As a result, we focused on adding more information to make it easier for people to complete a transaction.

If you are using the incorrect metrics, it’s only a matter of time before you run out of cash. If you’re running a startup on your own, this can happen very quickly.


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About the speaker
Jules Walter Member

Jules Walter leads the product monetization team at Slack, responsible for the company’s acceleration in growth and adoption since 2016. In addition, Jules works on Slack’s mobile growth team and is the Board President of - which increases diversity and provides more opportunities for underserved communities in the tech industry.