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Hiten Shah and Marie Prokopets - Lessons Learned from Building 5 Products in a Year

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Marie Prokopets & Hiten Shah
What building 5 products in a
year forces you to do
producthabits.com🤓
1

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2
We share everything we do and
learn about Product.
(Except these super secret stories)
@marieprokopets @hnshah

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Learn with us…
producthabits.com🤓
3

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Hiten Shah and Marie Prokopets - Lessons Learned from Building 5 Products in a Year

  1. 1. Marie Prokopets & Hiten Shah What building 5 products in a year forces you to do producthabits.com🤓 1
  2. 2. 2 We share everything we do and learn about Product. (Except these super secret stories) @marieprokopets @hnshah
  3. 3. Learn with us… producthabits.com🤓 3
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. 📅 One Year 6
  7. 7. 📅 One Year 🔨 Five Products 7
  8. 8. 📅 One Year 🔨 Five Products 😎 One Team 8
  9. 9. 📅 One Year 🔨 Five Products 😎 One Team 💸 Self-Funded 9
  10. 10. 10 five products made with Ralph share on Product Habits
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. 12 1 - We started with a product that we will likely kill very soon.
  13. 13. Fundraising is a PITA 🥙 13
  14. 14. 14 50 interviews, 100s of decks
  15. 15. • Raising money sucks • Pitch decks aren't compelling • Thousands of companies raise money every year • Investors want to fund great companies • We always want to be helpful Fundraising is a HUGE problem & market! 15
  16. 16. 16
  17. 17. 17
  18. 18. 18 1 deck per company 1 round per year/s 1 user per company
  19. 19. A big market and problem isn’t enough… regular usage is a must. 19 Takeaway 🔑
  20. 20. Is the market big or are you just convincing yourself it is? 20
  21. 21. 21 2 - We tried to copy & paste a product without doing technical research.
  22. 22. 22
  23. 23. “Let’s copy and paste it.” Hiten Shah 23
  24. 24. 24
  25. 25. “Let’s copy and paste it. And add audio!” Hiten Shah 25
  26. 26. 26 Our Big Mistake
  27. 27. 27
  28. 28. 28
  29. 29. 29 No Technical Research Our Big Mistake
  30. 30. Don’t build without doing thorough technical research first. 30 Takeaway 🔑
  31. 31. Technical Research will bring to light almost every obstacle you’ll encounter as you build your Product. 31
  32. 32. 32 New product New feature Iterating Changing direction Crazy idea If you care about time… 
 do technical research
  33. 33. 33
  34. 34. • Research findings • Product overview • What needs to be included • What doesn’t need to be included  • Open questions  • Initial mockups Our fuck-up proof Technical Research process 34
  35. 35. • Initial trade-offs - technical considerations, workarounds • Speed - very rough estimates • Decisions - stuff we have to decide now and later • Risks - barriers, problems, nightmares • Resources - do we have everything we need to build? Our fuck-up proof Engineering Research process 35
  36. 36. Are we cutting corners and causing preventable delays? 36
  37. 37. 37
  38. 38. 38 draftsend.com/examples
  39. 39. 39
  40. 40. 40 3 - We stumbled on a new product while doing research for Draftsend.
  41. 41. 41
  42. 42. 42
  43. 43. 43
  44. 44. 44
  45. 45. 45
  46. 46. 46
  47. 47. 47
  48. 48. 6 weeks 2 surveys 1,500 responses 52 customer interviews Priceless learnings! 48 The Approach Paid Off 🚀
  49. 49. Learn without bias and take action. 49 Takeaway 🔑
  50. 50. 50
  51. 51. 51 There was a bigger problem to solve…
  52. 52. The #1 problem people have with documents is finding them. 52
  53. 53. 53
  54. 54. Are we solving the most important problem? 54
  55. 55. 55 4 - We gave up on our favorite features to build a product in days.
  56. 56. 56 Time to solve the #1 problem
  57. 57. The #1 problem people have with documents is finding them. 57
  58. 58. After all that research, we had 3 features we wanted to build. 58
  59. 59. • Research findings • Product overview • What needs to be included • What doesn’t need to be included  • Open questions  • Initial mockups Our fuck-up proof Technical Research process 59
  60. 60. 60
  61. 61. “What’s the fastest path to learning?” 61
  62. 62. We had 3 features we wanted to build. What feature do we need to nail first? 62
  63. 63. 63
  64. 64. You have to ship fast to learn faster. 64 Takeaway 🔑
  65. 65. Three days later, we were playing with a functioning product. 65
  66. 66. Three days later, we were playing with a functioning product. 66 Two more days and the product was being used by customers.
  67. 67. 67 Now we’re building a totally different feature thanks to customer feedback.
  68. 68. Are we building to learn? 68
  69. 69. 69 5 - We were afraid to run user tests without the help of an expert.
  70. 70. 70
  71. 71. 71 Product #5!
  72. 72. 72 Designer Researcher
  73. 73. 73 We decided to just do it.
  74. 74. User testing can get you unstuck. 74 Takeaway 🔑
  75. 75. 75 We nailed our new product idea in just a few hours!
  76. 76. 76 We nailed our new product idea in just a few hours! And we’re building it!
  77. 77. Anyone can do user testing. 77 Takeaway 🔑
  78. 78. Our prototypes Our websites Competitors Successful products 78 User Testing The goal is to learn fast.
  79. 79. 79 How should we do onboarding for our new tool in the document space?
  80. 80. 80 First we user tested a competitor How should we do onboarding for our new tool in the document space?
  81. 81. 81 First we user tested a competitor Then we user tested the best How should we do onboarding for our new tool in the document space?
  82. 82. 82
  83. 83. ✅ List all the features on the homepage ✅ Multiple install CTAs with the word free ✅ Repeat features over and over again 😐 Make sure the copy at the top of your website is compelling 😐 Invite people to join early Mixmax user test results 83
  84. 84. 84
  85. 85. ✅ Show (don’t just tell) people the value they’ll get right on your homepage 😐 Make sure your homepage loads fast 😐 People see through impersonal personalization 😐 Keep the excitement level high during onboarding 😐 Avoid unexpected surprises about paid plans Grammarly user test results 85
  86. 86. Are we doing enough user testing? 86
  87. 87. 🔨 Five Products 87
  88. 88. The most efficient way to rapidly learn is to have multiple products. 88
  89. 89. Or, act like you do. 89
  90. 90. “The only way to do more is do more.” Hiten Shah 90
  91. 91. 91
  92. 92. 92
  93. 93. “The only way to do more is do more.” Hiten Shah 93
  94. 94. It’s actually about making room for what matters. 94
  95. 95. 5 Products & counting… 9 People 1 Ralph 95
  96. 96. 96 We have no choice but to achieve more with less.
  97. 97. 97 You have a choice to achieve more with less. We have no choice but to achieve more with less.
  98. 98. What are you working on right now that doesn’t matter? 98
  99. 99. 99 Work on things that matter. Make those things better. Be happier ☺
  100. 100. 100 Questions? Ask us anything! hiten@producthabits.com marie@draftsend.com bit.ly/5-products

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