Snapchat Product Lead on Product Management (Part 2)

Most people who work in product management share many of the same responsibilities. For example, we set goals and strategies for our products. In addition, we evaluate our customer targets and create MVPs to test with these key customers. However, there are differences in how product managers operate with creating platforms versus end-user experience.

Beginning with metrics, platform performance is best measured in multi-dimensional terms. In other words, you can’t just look at usage to measure success. For example, usage numbers can be very high while also requiring a ton of engineering hours to keep the platform stable.

In addition, product management around platforms requires a much different strategy view than user experience. With platforms, you have to consider not just one type of user, but many different customers. Because platforms support such a wide variety of services, your strategic focus is critical for ensuring success. Once you land on your strategy, it’s very difficult to change it once your partners have started to build services on your platform.

Finally, platforms enable a different form of user feedback and collaboration from partners compared to pure end-user experience. Using Snapchat as an example, we opened our API to third-party developers. As a result, we received this influx of new content that was enhancing our primary platform. Furthermore, we were getting real-time feedback on platform bugs and other areas for improvement on our platform.

In summary, product management on the platform level brings a holistic view of addressing the needs of end users and business partners to create optimal solutions.


Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 3

About the speaker
Ash Wahi Snapchat, Group Product Manager Member

Ash is a Group Product Manager in Snap’s Monetization team where he leads Ads API, Ad Review & Integrity, and the Business Identity teams. Prior to Snap, Ash was at Microsoft and Facebook where he worked on Azure, Windows Phone App Store, Facebook Timeline, Open Graph and Ads Measurement. Ash holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from University of New South Wales and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He is a Techstars Seattle mentor who loves to discuss MVPs, product strategy and technology in general.