A Product Manager’s Handbook
There are plenty of questions that can help you determine the quality of your startup’s product. Here I’m listing down the 20 most important questions!
When I was a part of the core team at LetsVenture, when we were a team of 6 people and were starting initially, we had several questions to answer! Not for others, but for ourselves. I was a newbie at that time, working with experienced founders and solving one of the biggest problems for investors to fund the right startup, and for the startups to find the right investors. We were developing a perfect matchmaking bridge.
Fast forward 4 years, and now I’m building a content engine for startups. By content engine, I mean a set of framework, strategy and process in place that automates the entire content game for a startup — What to say, Whom to say, Where to say, How to say, last but not the least Why at all to say?
Before this, I had built an MVP of an e-commerce surprise gifting platform and surprisingly validated with good revenue traction and word of mouth marketing.
And now, when I’m helping startups in different domains such as Automobile, SaaS, FinTech, I discover a lot many more challenges and apparently solutions as well.
Being a digital marketer, a storyteller, a product manager, an entrepreneur whatever you wish to call me, my journey has been asking the right questions that determine the true value of a product/ service. Whether the product is a listing platform where you create your profile and get connected with investors or a service platform where you can book your car service online with free pick up & drop facility, or an AI productivity mobile app where you can manage all your tasks, each of the product’s quality goes through the same set of questions.
I had listed 50 questions but I’ve prioritized top 20 over here. If you wish to get all the 50, feel free to reach out to me here.
Earlier also I’ve written resources that help increase the worth and growth of your product:
- An Easy Way To Plan Your Digital Marketing Budget
- These 24 Questions Will Craft The Customer Persona For Your Business
- This Common Key Hack Will Scale Your Business Like Never Before!
- How Shall You Make A Social Media Strategy For Your Clients?
👉 Coming back to the questions that will help you determine the value of your product. You may find these set of questions very common, but the beauty lies in taking the accountability for these questions.
Ideally, after reading this, I would delegate it to the most accountable person in the team to answer, maybe the product manager, who has to envision the product roadmap.
So here you go (as I have mentioned earlier, for all the 50 questions, you can reach out to me here):
1. How feature rich your product is?
Which strategy do you follow: The product has all the possible features to confuse the users in one go? The product has all the essential features to easily navigate the users and complete their need? The product has a pipeline of features to roll out based on the need and the feedback?
2. How dependable your product is?
Is your product offering a good to have a solution or a need-based solution? Identify the difference. As early you see, better for you!
3. How minimal your product is?
Do you follow minimalism in your startup? I’m a big fan and practitioner of minimalism. Unless and until as feature is damn required, I wouldn’t recommend including or even investing time over that.
4. How easy is the product to use?
Can users easily navigate through your product without any additional help? Without looking through FAQ, or going through the contact us page, or calling your team?
5. How fast is it?
Digital transformation needs urgency. People look up to digital solutions to save their time, unlike the previous generations. If your product is not fast enough to deliver on time, you’re missing big on this.
6. Does the product offer live status updates?
This one is important. Offering live status updates also include messaging through drip campaigns. The user needs to know what’s happening when they click on something or places an order. The moment you lose on this, you dig a loophole.
7. How long your product hook its users?
Not long enough/ not short enough. Should take just the minimal time as the user wants to spend. Sometimes gamification wastes a lot of time for the users and they end up uninstalling the product. Value their time!
8. How many bugs your product encounter on a daily basis?
A few/ or many? If your product encounters a lot many bugs on a daily basis, the product is not yet ready. You should consider going backstage, iterate and then re-launch.
9. Does your product need telemarketing?
If your product/ service can’t communicate with the users on its own, there is a big flaw. You can’t have a telemarketing team to solve what your product itself should do.
10. How many times your product is used by the user in a day?
This one depends on the need as well. If it is something like a daily commute app, or placing a grocery order, your product will receive good numbers within a day. While, if it is investment app, your product may receive low numbers. But whatever the number makes sure the leads number is high.
11. How does your product communicate with its users? At every touch point? Or, a few?
The user flow is intrinsic to any product. I’ve seen people opting-in for a product, clicking here and there and wait for good time to wonder what’s happening with their time. Ideally, your product should have a communication engine that itself notifies the users of each event.
12. How long a person has to wait for the end use of your product?
Again here, you need to wrap up their time on time! The product can’t make users wait for more than what they can obtain with other alternatives.
13. How does your product look like growing on a daily basis?
Keep a close eye on metrics. Also, there are a lot many metrics and a lot many falls under the surface metrics. Don’t fall into naive ones, track only the critical metrics on a daily basis. I’m publishing soon a list of such critical metrics. If you wish to be notified, opt-in here.
14. How fast your product can ship a new feature to cater to a new relevant need?
In the product journey, you may encounter better ways to solve a problem. A new feature, or a polished feature. You need to have good buffer time, and a parallel team to ship the additional features within a short span of time. Keep an eye on the turnaround time here.
15. How does your product reward its users?
What makes a user feel once they use your product? Has it saved their time? Has it enlightened them with knowledge? Saving someone’s time is the ultimate reward for a digital product. See if you can work on it.
16. How easily your product captures the feedback of its users?
It may happen that once you launch your product, you assume all the good words floating around while neglecting a proper feedback flow to be in place. Your product needs to have a feedback mechanism integrated into itself to make it better every single day.
17. Does your product offer transparency (user-generated reviews/ pricing)?
Transparency can earn the ultimate trust for your users. If you see a restaurant with an open kitchen, and can see yourself the cleanliness of the making process, you will opt-in for this restaurant instead of several others. Same is applicable to your product. What you see is what you get should be the ultimate driving factor.
18. How quickly does your product respond to the user’s problem?
Do the users need to tweet if they encounter any problem? Or a live chat helps them? Turnaround time on user’s problem is a big saver for any product.
19. How flexible is your product to pivot?
It may happen that within a year, you may encounter a different but better way to solve the same problem. How quickly can your product pivot and take a new shape based on all the branding already done before?
20. What’s your Product’s WOW FACTOR?
Last but not the least, why should a user opt-in for your product instead of 100 other alternatives? Easy to use? Saving their time? Saving dependency? Ease in payment? Find out about this. And then create the WOW factor!
There are 30 more questions in my list. Reach out to me if you need all of them to be answered by your team.
One who never asks either knows everything or knows nothing!
Meanwhile, these 20 will definitely help you put some structure in place to identify where the product is going. Once in a while, I would rather recommend, once in a quarter, you must sit together with your team and re-ask these questions and assign to the ultimate goal.
Because answers exist only to questions!
I’m in the process of rolling out a marketing dashboard that would help the marketing manager, CEOs, founders to understand and map the marketing activities to tangible ROIs.
The last template that helped marketers to draft a 90 day marketing plan within 90 minutes has received good value. I am aiming to ship two templates in a month that can either save your time, make you smarter, or help you reach your goals faster.
In case if you’ve any questions/ feedback, I’m all ears!