The product vision is one of the vaguest yet most powerful tools in a PM’s toolbox. A clear and compelling product vision is essential for aligning teams to a shared purpose. How do you create a vision that is compelling enough to stick in people’s heads? Landis Head of Product Vinamrata Singal shares how to craft your vision to appeal to different audiences.
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On Elements of A Sellable Vision
Vinamrata shared three tangible elements of a sellable vision and broke down each one for the audience.
“Before you go off and construct a product vision, you need what I like to call kindling. The kindling is the customer insight or observation.”
“It comes from talking to your customers, looking into your data, understanding how customers use your product, and understanding your competition. And understanding the ways in which your customers view your competition.”
“These are the three elements of a sellable vision. First is clarity through specificity. Helping people really visualize and very clearly articulate the customer and their problem. The second is compelling people through uniqueness. Helping people understand and see the value proposition. Finally, galvanizing through open space. Getting people really riled up about your vision by helping them see the vastness of the vision, where they fit in, and how they can be part of pushing the vision forward.”
On Execute the Elements of a Vision
Vinamrata then described some ways each of these elements can be executed through questions and areas to explore to really dial into that vision.
“The first [element] is clarity through specificity. Who is your customer as a real person? What did their problems look like in their life as it relates to their product, or even just like within their life in general? What impact is your product aspire to have on their lives?
“The next element is compelling through uniqueness. It really comes down to what’s a unique observation or insight that you have about your customer that you can leverage to build solutions for them.
“Finally, there’s the galvanizing through open space piece. You want to give some level of guidance so that it’s not totally open with no guardrails where anyone can do anything. At the same time, you also don’t want to be telling people what they should be doing at any given point. It’s really about striking that balance between giving enough guardrails but not being overly prescriptive.”
On Vision In Action
In this portion of the webinar, Vinamrata shared a vision in action by penning two hypothetical visions, using Airbnb as an example. In the first one, the audience said it wasn’t great.
“The first one is that there’s a lot of details that aren’t really tied to understanding Nina, in this case, our customer, as a person or motivations. “
“The second is that no clear unique insight connects to a deeper motivation. There are no unique insights into why people travel.”
“Finally, it’s too prescriptive. We need more open space. It talks about building like a search engine and filters like that’s too specific at this level of a vision.”
About the speaker
Vinamrata Singal is the head of product at Landis, a Sequoia-backed prop-tech startup guiding Americans with limited income on their path to homeownership. Before Landis, she was a senior product manager at Propel Inc, where she launched the Providers Card, the first debit card for families on government benefits. She's also worked as a product manager at Thumbtack and Google, where she got her start via the APM program. She received her Bachelor's in Computer Science from Stanford University. In her spare time, she loves to write fiction, salsa dance, play tennis, take Peloton classes, and find the best almond croissants in New York City.
About the host
Brian is currently Senior Director of Product Management - Consumer Experience at Assurance IQ. Prior to that he was VP of Product & Design at Huckleberry, working on using data and automation to eliminate the complexity from small business insurance. Before that, Brian was Senior Director of Product Management at Fundera (acquired by NerdWallet), Walmart Labs and Amazon. Brian moved (back) to NYC in January 2020, and continues to experience everything this city has to offer.