Box CPO on Product Design (Part 2)
More so than any best practice that our community has developed, I think Silicon Valley has figured out the best way to create meaningful products for customers. In other words, we have the pulse of what customers need and are able to accelerate great ideas. As a result, product design is informed by authentic customer input and a complete understanding of market conditions.
#4: Obsess Over Product/Market Fit.
Before you start thinking about expansion or building at scale, you must solve for product/market fit. For example, your product needs to provide a viable solution within a particular segment. Furthermore, your product needs to be adopted by a large audience before you consider adding more users. Many times, companies focus on scaling first before their product/market fit is established. Ultimately, you can’t establish long-term success if you’re trying to expand with an incomplete solution. Instead, you should solve product/market fit early and then proceed to scale in order to reach more customers.
#5: Retention Drives Growth.
Instead of focusing on new customer acquisition, the best way to sustain growth is to retain customers. Ultimately, your business will be much more cost-efficient if you can keep customers coming back for more. Creating long-term customer relationships is critical for sustained success and maintaining steady revenue streams. As a result, product design teams must focus on driving repeat usage rather than focusing on new users. Once you have achieved success with a key customer segment, you can then proceed to expand with new user acquisition.
#6: Don’t Ignore The Marginal User.
In the early stages of product design, teams tend to focus on power users. Said differently, this is your primary audience who fully understands the product and uses it frequently. While focusing on power users is important at early stages, product teams must focus on marginal users for future growth. Ultimately, adding features for an audience that already loves your product is not going to move the needle. Instead, you should start to focus on making enhancements to expand your audience and find new customers.
About the speaker
Jeetu Patel is Cisco’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Security and Collaboration. He leverages a diverse set of capabilities to lead the strategy and development for these businesses and also owns P&L responsibility for this multibillion-dollar portfolio. Jeetu combines a bold vision, steeped in product design and development expertise, operational rigor, and innate market understanding to create high-growth Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses. Prior to joining Cisco, Jeetu was the Chief Product Officer (CPO) and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Box, a role he pioneered. He also created the Box Platform business unit where he led product strategy, marketing, and developer relations – driving products from the incubation stage to mature offerings.