Startup Series: Product Management

Roshni Mohandas
2 min readOct 31, 2022

From concept to scale :

Most of the startup products are a series of MVPs. We are still in the MVP stage though we also have paying customers now, still I feel the product is an MVP. It’s going through iterations (not pivoting). Happened to attend this session by Rhimjhim Ray and notes from this session

Think of the following and have it listed clearly

  1. What is the problem you are solving?
  2. Who are you solving for?
  3. Why is the problem worth solving?

Define the user

  1. What is the demographic profile of the user?
  2. What are their digital habits?
  3. How are they solving/working around the problem right now?
  4. Which factors are they likely to prioritize? — Quality, Convenience, Health, Pricing, Speed

Convert the Problem Statement into a user story

  • Redefine the problem statement
  • Phrase it from a user perspective
  • Define the who, what and why
  • For example, “as a busy professional, I will want to get a taxi in the least possible time so that I can reach my workplace on time”

Define your big idea

  1. How are you going to solve the problem?
  2. How will your solution be better than current alternatives? For eg., Public transport or own car Vs call or hailing a taxi

Defile your big idea in one line. Create that one-liner product statement

eg. Build an app that lets users book a cab anytime /anywhere with the promise of a cab reaching within 5 minutes. Zero surge — fair pricing

Scope your MVP Release

  • What minimum features will you like to roll out?
  • What is the shortest path to your product vision?
  • How can you test it? Define the test conditions
  • For example your MVP you can select a locality, tie up with a local cab association and carpool owners who have idle time /capacity, build location-based ride-hailing with zero surcharge

Build the MVP

  • Build the working prototype
  • Keep your product purpose and user persona in mind
  • Scope for early usage — you don't want your app to crash

Plan Launch / Distribution

  • Launch on play store / basic website
  • Some social media
  • Early partnerships
  • Tie up with startups /companies to offer their employees a corporate discount on your ride-hailing app

Collect all the data

  • Usage
  • Time of the day
  • Price paid
  • User profile
  • User journey
  • Everything

Optimize

  • Leverage data to iterate
  • Test alternate hypotheses in pricing, user persona, user journey
  • Monetize Early: I will stress this from my experience

Most startups fail in the zero-to-one phase.

Scale

  • Earned your revenue?
  • Stabilize your margins
  • Build your pitch
  • Raise funds
  • Create high performance, cross-functional product-marketing team
  • Expand markets

Hire high performing product manager

Be stubborn on the vision but flexible on details : Jeff Bezos

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Roshni Mohandas

Entrepreneur, Data Scientist , Startup , Hustler : 100% follow back