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DevRelCon 2022: "Is Product Led Growth (PLG) the “DevOps” of the DevRel World"

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DevRelCon 2022: "Is Product Led Growth (PLG) the “DevOps” of the DevRel World"

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Over the last year, the Ambassador Labs team has doubled down on their adoption of Product Led Growth (PLG), a growth model where product usage drives customer acquisition, retention, and expansion. It’s been an interesting journey for the DevRel team, who have found themselves working more closely with both the sales and growth engineering teams.

In their quest to reduce the friction of product adoption, they’re thinking more and more about the end-to-end experiences, experimentation, instrumentation, data analysis, and handoffs — much like we saw in the software development world with the adoption of DevOps breaking down barriers between engineering and operations.

The Ambassador Labs team have learned more about the value of creating hypotheses and analyzing quantitative data, but have also been reminded that there is no substitute for qualitative data and engaging human-to-human. Join Daniel for a whistle-stop tour of PLG through the DevRel lens:

– Understand how moving to PLG can impact devrel teams and the work they do: for better and worse!
– Explore how DevRel tooling and community platforms are increasingly overlapping with PLG marketer tooling
– Learn how to structure your goals, common languages, and teams for successfully adopting PLG

Over the last year, the Ambassador Labs team has doubled down on their adoption of Product Led Growth (PLG), a growth model where product usage drives customer acquisition, retention, and expansion. It’s been an interesting journey for the DevRel team, who have found themselves working more closely with both the sales and growth engineering teams.

In their quest to reduce the friction of product adoption, they’re thinking more and more about the end-to-end experiences, experimentation, instrumentation, data analysis, and handoffs — much like we saw in the software development world with the adoption of DevOps breaking down barriers between engineering and operations.

The Ambassador Labs team have learned more about the value of creating hypotheses and analyzing quantitative data, but have also been reminded that there is no substitute for qualitative data and engaging human-to-human. Join Daniel for a whistle-stop tour of PLG through the DevRel lens:

– Understand how moving to PLG can impact devrel teams and the work they do: for better and worse!
– Explore how DevRel tooling and community platforms are increasingly overlapping with PLG marketer tooling
– Learn how to structure your goals, common languages, and teams for successfully adopting PLG

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DevRelCon 2022: "Is Product Led Growth (PLG) the “DevOps” of the DevRel World"

  1. 1. @danielbryantuk Is Product Led Growth (PLG) the “DevOps” of the DevRel World? 1 Daniel Bryant Head of DevRel @ambassadorlabs
  2. 2. @danielbryantuk 2 tl;dr ● Product-led growth (PLG), when done well, can break down barriers between departments and teams to drive more adoption (and revenue!) ● DevRel teams have a lot to add to PLG: ○ Empathizing with your user and product to drive effective experiments ○ Focusing everyone on the end-to-end (developer) experience ○ Identifying the user value, aha moments, and opportunities for virality ● Establish a cross-functional team with common goals, language, & understanding
  3. 3. @danielbryantuk 3 @danielbryantuk (he/him) linktr.ee/danielbryantuk
  4. 4. @danielbryantuk Setting the Scene
  5. 5. @danielbryantuk 5 What is Developer Relations (DevRel)? “Developer Relations, also known as DevRel, is an umbrella term covering the strategies and tactics for building and nurturing a community of mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and developers (e.g., software developers) as the primary users, and often influencers on purchases, of a product” Wikipedia
  6. 6. @danielbryantuk 6 What is Developer Relations (DevRel)? twitter.com/danielbryantuk/status/1550478487437320194
  7. 7. @danielbryantuk 7 What is Product Led Growth (PLG)? “Product-led growth (PLG) is a business methodology in which user acquisition, expansion, conversion, and retention are all driven primarily by the product” ProductLed.org “(PLG) is a software product that allows an end user to start using the product without any restrictions. This puts the power of buying software in the hands of end users.” Correlated
  8. 8. @danielbryantuk 8 What is Product Led Growth (PLG)? openviewpartners.com/product-led-growth/
  9. 9. @danielbryantuk 9 PLG is a “bottom up” go-to-market motion ● No more top down “golf course selling” ● Developers want to get hands-on ○ “Give me a quickstart and searchable docs!” ○ “Show me the value in my workflow” ○ They don’t like talking to sales ● Cloud popularized consumption-based pricing ● DevRel and growth are the bridge between developers and sales
  10. 10. @danielbryantuk 10 So, how does DevOps play into this? The “Wall of Confusion” (h/t Andrew Clay Shafer)
  11. 11. @danielbryantuk 11 So, how does DevOps play into this? (Let’s swap the silo names) DevRel Growth Sales Product The “Wall of Confusion” (h/t Andrew Clay Shafer)
  12. 12. @danielbryantuk My Experiences
  13. 13. @danielbryantuk 13 Allow me to introduce Ambassador Labs quickly ● Series B funded K8s tooling company ● Creators of two popular CNCF K8s projects ○ Emissary-ingress API gateway ○ Telepresence “remocal” dev/debugger ● Product-led and sales-led GTM motions ○ Edge Stack SaaS(ish) & on-prem/cloud ○ Telepresence SaaS(ish) ● DevRel team reports to the CMO
  14. 14. @danielbryantuk 14 Break down the silos: “ProdLedBizEngRel”? ● Heavily lent into PLG for Telepresence in 2022 ● Created cross-functional team ○ Growth / marketing ○ Growth engineering ○ Product ○ DevRel ○ Sales ● Weekly reviews of funnel, results, & hypotheses ○ PQLs, PQOs, opportunities
  15. 15. @danielbryantuk 15 Example experiment (large bet for KubeCon) ● Hypothesis ○ If we guide users through a typical case study, there is an increased probability they will activate and become PQLs across multiple products ● Implementation ○ K8s in 8 challenge ● Metrics ○ Landing page visits ○ Cloud sign ups ○ Percentage completion of challenge ○ PQLs, PQOs ○ MAU
  16. 16. @danielbryantuk Top 3 PLG Takeaways for DevRel
  17. 17. @danielbryantuk 17 Empathize with your users to drive effective experiments DevRel can help a lot with hypothesis generation ● Does this idea pass the end-user (developer) sniff test? ● But, our “gut feel” isn’t always going to be right ● Data analysis and storytelling are a PLG superpower Data doesn’t lie, but it doesn’t tell the whole story ● Qualitative data can be very useful – this is the domain of DevRel ● Don’t discount the value of talking to actual users and your community
  18. 18. @danielbryantuk 18 DevRel, waiting for the data scientists to ask us about getting qualitative feedback… :-)
  19. 19. @danielbryantuk 19 Focus everyone on the end-to-end (developer) experience ● Rapid experimentation is a super power, but with all great power comes… ● It’s easy to get caught in small optimizations ● Reflect on the (end-to-end) experience of the product ○ Engage beginners mindset ○ Think about “jobs to be done” ○ Regularly run through the sign up, activation, and aha moments
  20. 20. @danielbryantuk 20
  21. 21. @danielbryantuk 21 Identifying value, “aha” moments, and potential for virality DevRel can provide insight on the value users get from the product ● We’re often the stakeholder closest to the community ● Sales can provide great insight from users and buyers ● And don’t underestimate the value of support/CX input! DevRel can help tell the story of the user’s path to value ● What, where, when, why, and who gets value (and how do we observe/instrument this?) ● Where is the friction? ● How do we get to the “aha” moments (and make these viral)
  22. 22. @danielbryantuk 22 Focus on the user's path to value, not on monetization
  23. 23. @danielbryantuk Wrapping Up
  24. 24. @danielbryantuk 24 DevRel and PLG: We’re learning (and we will make mistakes) ● We’re all in new territory here… ● Need strong growth marketing leadership ○ Clear goals, charter, language, etc ● Cross-functional teams for the win! ● Embrace the scientific method (and data) ● Regularly retrospect (as a team) h/t twitter.com/salaboy/status/1570688751776694273
  25. 25. @danielbryantuk 25 Conclusion ● Product-led growth (PLG), when done well, can break down barriers between departments and teams to drive more adoption (and revenue!) ● DevRel teams have a lot to add to PLG (which is a “bottom up” motion): ○ Empathizing with your user and product to drive effective experiments ○ Focusing everyone on the end-to-end (developer) experience ○ Identifying the user value, aha moments, and opportunities for virality ● Establish a cross-functional team with common goals, language, & understanding
  26. 26. @danielbryantuk 26 Personally, I’m all about the DevOps “ProdLedBizEngRel”* (*but we might want to simply call it PLG)
  27. 27. @danielbryantuk 27 Questions? Contact details and more info Email: db@datawire.io Twitter/LinkedIn: @danielbryantuk Correlated: The Product Led Revenue Podcast (Breezy Beaumont and team) Product Led Podcast (Wes Bush and crew) What's 🔥 in Enterprise IT/VC (Ed Sim) Lenny's Newsletter (Lenny Rachitsky) Product-Led Growth for Dev-First Business: Is It Inevitable? (Kelsey Evans, Daniel Bryant, Adam LaGreca, and team)
  28. 28. @danielbryantuk Fin.

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