In episode 7 of the Product Awards Series, Ubiety Techologies CPO Nacho Andrade interviews Novo Director of Product Roger Liu. Liu discusses the importance of balancing customer needs and business outcomes. He underscores the crucial role of robust internal communication and swift execution, which he views as the pillars of successful product creation. Liu emphasizes the importance of correctly identifying target markets, a strategy that has significantly influenced Novo’s product development process. As a proponent of urgency in product release, Liu believes in maintaining high-quality standards while rapidly responding to market needs. For those aspiring to join product management, Liu advises developing a customer-centric mindset, improving communication skills, and gaining a deep understanding of stakeholder management
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- Roger Liu, Director of Product at Novo, highlights the crucial role of customer feedback in their product development process. His team’s approach involves talking to customers weekly to understand their needs and pain points. Balancing customer needs and business outcomes feeds directly into their problem-solving strategy.
- Novo is aimed at serving small businesses with their financial needs. Their objective is to level the playing field for small businesses. Who often do not get the necessary support from larger banks.
- Customer feedback is embedded into Novo’s product with an aim to interview at least one customer a week. This is used to verify whether the products being developed resonate with customers and are genuinely solving their problems.
- Novo focuses on understanding customers’ problems and applying their expertise to develop solutions. They follow an iterative approach, releasing a product to validate whether it solves a problem. Then refining based on feedback and user response.
- Novo’s product strategy is influenced by increasing verticalization and specialization. They concentrate on serving true small businesses, those with one or two employees. Or those for whom their business is their livelihood, helping them save time and money.
- Novo is developing a financial operating system (OS) for small businesses, starting with a checking account. The platform will integrate with various business necessities such as accounting systems, payment methods, and invoicing, creating a seamless and efficient experience for small business owners.
- Roger Liu, Novo Director of Product, emphasizes that understanding the problem, communicating about it effectively, and executing efficiently are key to creating great products. Defining the problem that a product aims to solve and distinguishing it from competing products are critical steps.
- Proper internal communication and alignment are required, ensuring every department is aware of their role and can support the customer effectively.
- The product manager’s role is crucial in deciding what to ship and when to ship it. The process involves testing the problem statement, from concept testing to A/B testing, before deploying it to production.
- Liu stresses the importance of maintaining a swift feedback loop to continually improve the product, especially in a competitive startup environment.
- For those interested in entering the product management space, Liu recommends developing a customer-centric mindset and honing communication skills, especially stakeholder management. He also suggests reading “The Mom Test” to understand how to talk to customers and comprehend their pain points, and underscores that while agile methodologies and Scrum can be learned through classes, customer understanding and stakeholder management require time and experience.
- Roger Liu explains his framework for product strategy that includes establishing the mission, vision, and objectives, with the strategy spanning two to three years. He mentions that the mission usually remains consistent, but market dynamics may necessitate change.
- Understanding how to tie customer problems to business outcomes is vital for determining what to build. He believes in the Pareto Principle where 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. Thus, trade-offs need to be considered for launching an initial version of a product.
- Liu emphasizes the importance of urgency in launching a product to get customer feedback. Speed doesn’t imply compromised quality; processes should still be followed to ensure robustness.
- He is passionate about products that meet customer needs effectively. The Nintendo Switch is a personal favorite due to its flexibility and ability to provide quick relaxation. He elaborates that the Nintendo Switch solves a specific problem for him. It provided a quick, flexible, and adaptable entertainment solution for his busy schedule.
About the speaker
About the host
Nacho is an Evangelist for all things product, advocating for innovation, diversity, and building amazing products. Nacho has spent over 10 years in product roles ranging from startups to enterprise in industries like education, healthcare, finance and gaming.