Product strategy workshop with Gibson Biddle

What exactly do you mean by Product Strategy?

  • Network effects. For instance, Netflix has built a huge device ecosystem. Every hardware device on the face of the planet is magically wired to deliver Netflix content to their screen. For customers, this means “watch anytime, anywhere.” It’s very hard, however, for competitors to achieve this same network effect.
  • Unique technology. Netflix has lots of unique technology, but one of its key hard to copy advantages is its personalization technology. Today, Netflix knows the tastes of 165 million members worldwide. This makes it substantially easier for members to find movies they love.
  • Economies of scale. This means that once a company gets big, they have a large financial advantage over smaller competitors. This past year, Netflix was able to invest $20B in original content as it amortized this investment across 165 million members. For perspective “poor Amazon” (I love saying that!) could only invest half this amount.
  • Brand. Over time, if you build a great product, company, and a relationship with your customers, you build a trusted brand that provides a huge hard to copy advantage.

“The magic of product strategy is when you have a successful hypothesis — a product strategy — that delights customers, in hard to copy margin-enhancing ways. ”

Why should people care about Product Strategy?

  • A long-term product vision that enables the company to Get big, to Lead into future areas, and to Expand further from there. I call this the GLEe model.
  • A set of high-level hypotheses — the product strategies — along with metrics that define their progress, and tactics (projects against these strategies). I call this the SMT model.
  • A four-quarter rolling roadmap that lets employees, investors, and board members see how all of these elements fit together.

What are some of the key challenges that can be addressed by adopting a product mindset?

What are the building blocks of a strong Product Strategy?

  • Get Big on DVDs
  • Lead streaming
  • Expand worldwide, then
  • Expand further into original content.
  • Strategy: Personalization
  • Metric: % of members who rate at least 50 titles in their first six weeks, RMSE (Root Mean Squared Error or the delta between how much Netflix anticipates you’ll enjoy a movie and your actual rating)
  • Tactics: Netflix Prize, Collaborative filtering, Ratings Wizard (among dozens of others)

If you could offer businesses one piece of advice, what would it be?

Sign up for our workshop with Gibson on the 12th March

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