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When to Buy vs. When to Build by fmr Amazon Product Leader

Main takeaways:
- Understanding the Big Picture.
- Factors to Consider
- Decision Framework

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When to Buy vs. When to Build by fmr Amazon Product Leader

  1. 1. www.productschool.com When to Buy vs. When to Build by fmr Amazon Product Leader
  2. 2. CERTIFICATES Your Product Management Certificate Path Product Leadership Certificate™ Full Stack Product Management Certificate™ Product Management Certificate™ 20 HOURS 40 HOURS 40 HOURS
  3. 3. Corporate Training Level up your team’s Product Management skills
  4. 4. Free Product Management Resources BOOKS EVENTS JOB PORTAL COMMUNITIES bit.ly/product_resources COURSES
  5. 5. Nikil Ramanathan S P E A K E R LinkedIn: nikilramanathan Twitter: @nikilramanathan
  6. 6. A B O U T M E ● 5+ years of Product experience ● Big Tech & High Growth Startups ● Data-Driven PM ● Mentor and Writer
  7. 7. 1 1 www.productschool.com ● My experience has been in the context of Data & Reporting products, but learnings can be applied to any build vs. buy decision. When to Buy vs. When to Build When to Buy vs. When to Build
  8. 8. Agenda 1 1 www.productschool.com Three Sections: 1. Understanding the Big Picture 2. Factors to Consider 3. Decision Framework When to Buy vs. When to Build
  9. 9. Section 1 1 1 www.productschool.com Section 1 Understanding the Big Picture When to Buy vs. When to Build
  10. 10. Section 1: Understanding the Big Picture 1 1 www.productschool.com Product Managers often need to balance strategy and execution. BUT When to Buy vs. When to Build
  11. 11. Section 1: Understanding the Big Picture 1 1 www.productschool.com The build vs. buy decision is a largely strategic one. When to Buy vs. When to Build
  12. 12. Section 1: Understanding the Big Picture 1 1 www.productschool.com Goal: understand your customer and your company/organization. When to Buy vs. When to Build
  13. 13. Section 1: Understanding the Big Picture 1 1 www.productschool.com Common Pitfall: PMs forget the context behind the decision. When to Buy vs. When to Build
  14. 14. Section 1: Understanding the Big Picture 1 1 www.productschool.com Questions to Ask ● What is your company’s mission? ● What is your company’s core competency? ● What are your company’s goals? When to Buy vs. When to Build
  15. 15. Section 1: Understanding the Big Picture 1 1 www.productschool.com Actions ● Connect company’s vision to your team ● Connect your team to this project decision When to Buy vs. When to Build
  16. 16. Section 1: Understanding the Big Picture 1 1 www.productschool.com Actions Answer the following: ● Budget - how much money can you spend? ● Timeline - by when do need to deliver this? ● Problem - what are you trying to solve? When to Buy vs. When to Build
  17. 17. Section 1: Understanding the Big Picture 1 1 www.productschool.com Write all of this down! When to Buy vs. When to Build
  18. 18. Section 2 1 1 www.productschool.com Section 2 Factors to Consider When to Buy vs. When to Build
  19. 19. Section 2: Factors to Consider 1 1 www.productschool.com 1. Costs 2. Control 3. Support When to Buy vs. When to Build
  20. 20. Section 2: Factors to Consider 1 1 www.productschool.com 1. Costs a. Real Costs b. Opportunity Costs c. Economies of Scale When to Buy vs. When to Build
  21. 21. Section 2: Factors to Consider 1 1 www.productschool.com Real Costs Consider: Cost in $$ to buy vs. time and effort to build When to Buy vs. When to Build 1. Costs Opportunity Costs Consider: Time and resources Economies of Scale Consider: Fixed and Variable Costs # of Users Time to Value
  22. 22. Section 2: Factors to Consider 1 1 www.productschool.com 2. Control a. Customization b. Security When to Buy vs. When to Build
  23. 23. Section 2: Factors to Consider 1 1 www.productschool.com Customization Consider: Edge cases Work with Marketing and Sales! When to Buy vs. When to Build 2. Control Security Consider: Risks with data exposure compliance with standards Work with Legal!
  24. 24. Section 2: Factors to Consider 1 1 www.productschool.com 3. Support a. Resources b. Technical Debt When to Buy vs. When to Build
  25. 25. Section 2: Factors to Consider 1 1 www.productschool.com Resources Consider: Plug and Play Hiring & Training When to Buy vs. When to Build 3. Support Technical Debt Consider: Bugs New Features
  26. 26. Section 3 1 1 www.productschool.com Section 3 Decision Framework When to Buy vs. When to Build
  27. 27. Section 3: Decision Framework 1 1 www.productschool.com 1. Consolidate 2. Identify 3. Decide When to Buy vs. When to Build
  28. 28. Section 3: Decision Framework 1 1 www.productschool.com Step 1: Consolidate your findings When to Buy vs. When to Build
  29. 29. Section 3: Decision Framework www.productschool.com When to Buy vs. When to Build When to Build When to Buy Limited Cash to Spend Need to Deliver Immediately Negative Economies of Scale ROI increases over time Aligns with Core Mission Not Core Competency of Team Control Quality and Customer Experience Plug and Play Product Security & Compliance Concerns Dedicated Training & Support End-to-End Ownership of Software Fewer Bugs, Technical Debt Highly Customized Requirements Limited Internal Resources 1. Consolidate
  30. 30. Section 3: Decision Framework 1 1 www.productschool.com Step 2: Identify your most important criteria ● This should be company-specific When to Buy vs. When to Build
  31. 31. Section 3: Decision Framework 1 1 www.productschool.com Step 3: Decide! When to Buy vs. When to Build
  32. 32. Section 3: Decision Framework 1 1 www.productschool.com Use good judgment. It isn’t a science! When to Buy vs. When to Build Tips: 3. Decide
  33. 33. Section 3: Decision Framework 1 1 www.productschool.com Communicate and find an ally! When to Buy vs. When to Build Tips: 3. Decide
  34. 34. Section 3: Decision Framework 1 1 www.productschool.com When in doubt: if it’s not directly related to your company’s core mission, BUY! When to Buy vs. When to Build Tips: 3. Decide
  35. 35. Summary 1 1 www.productschool.com ● Understand the context ● Evaluate on cost, control, and support ● Consolidate, identify, and decide!
  36. 36. Thank You! www.productschool.com Feel free to contact me on Linkedin (nikilramanathan) or on Twitter (@nikilramanathan). DMs are open!
  37. 37. www.productschool.com Part-time Product Management Training Courses and Corporate Training

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