product management

5 product management hacks to build great products by Subhadeep Mondal, @smondal1008

In the past 5 years, I had the opportunity to build and ship great consumer products which touches the lives of millions of people around the world. Recently, Branchmetrics invited me to share some of my learnings at Innov8 CoWorking Space along with speakers from UrbanLadder, HeadSpin, and Glispa Global.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while building products.

1. Think Big, Start Small

A complex product that works is always an evolution of a simple product that worked.

If you have built a complex product from the scratch, it’s not gonna work. You have to start and figure out that simple product which works. This is relevant for any startup which is about to launch its product or an existing company who is about to launch a new product feature. You may have big ideas, but going to market as soon as possible should be your priority. So find out that simple, small functional part of your overall product that you potential users need the most and launch it. As Reid Hoffman says:

If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.

2. Be obsessed about product definition

Over the last 5 years, I’ve realized startups often spend most of their efforts at the wrong steps of the product development process.
Suppose if you had 100 minutes to finish the end-to-end of a product. Most of the time I’ve seen startups spending time like the following.
85/100 minutes are spent on designing, building and beta testing, so what’s wrong with this process? Well, building a product is a combined effort of various cross-functional inter-dependent teams. To make sure, all the teams work in sync product definition is the most important step. The role of a product manager or a founder is to freeze on his thoughts and communicate the same very clearly across all the cross-functional teams. Why is it so important? It’s simple, it takes time and money to build a product. Each change you make, after the product definition step, will exponentially increase the go-to-market time which in turn increases the total cost of building the product.
So, spend as much time as you can prioritising and defining a product rather than getting lost in the vicious cycle of agile development between designers and developers. It will save lot of product development time and money for your startup.

3. Look at AARRR metrics daily

Make sure you track everything, observe and analyze the pirate metrics on a regular basis. This is very important because the first step of “product prioritization” is dependent on your pirate metrics. Make a habit of looking at data everyday morning while going to the office or starting your day at the office. You may or may not have to take immediate actions but the habit helps you keep numbers at your fingertips whenever you need to make instant decisions about the product. There are several tools to help you track AARRR metrics, here are few of them.

4. One new feature isn’t a solution

Most of the time you’ll think adding a new feature will improve one of my pirate metrics, but in reality, it’s the opposite. Often good products which have a really good core feature has seen a decrease in the engagement of the core features after 2 new features were introduced. So, give a lot of thought on “why” do your users need what you think they need and validate that hypothesis without even writing a single line of code. A new feature is not always the solution for your current problems.
How can you solve your metrics problems then? Well, small incremental efforts towards optimising your AARRR funnels will help you improve your pirate metrics not always a new feature.

4. Celebrate Usage and Not Shipping

This is very common among various product companies — they celebrate shipping of new products/features rather than celebrating usage numbers. Shipping actually means nothing! You have just shipped your products to your users and you have no idea how its adoption is going to be or how it is going to impact your overall AARRR metrics in days to come. Don’t waste your beer and money celebrating shipping of products, instead, keep usage numbers as the targets for your teams and celebrate those moments with your team.

5. Spent 30 mins with your users every day

All of us work from the comfort of our home or office analyzing and taking all sort of hypothesis on what a user wants. After making mistakes repeatedly, I’ve learned that speaking with 2–3 users every day gives you the knowledge and insights about your products which you have never thought about. It helps you know the stories of your users and how your product has been helpful to them in their day to day lives and also gives you relevant ideas on how you can make your product better. Don’t be shy, ask your users for 10 mins and they will be happy to give it you — but the first step is you asking them.
That’s it, I hope these insights will help you build your own startup, improve your current product development process, understand your customers better and improve your startup metrics. Happy to hear your current product development process and would be glad to share my thoughts.

Subhadeep Mondal

CoFounder of PregBuddy — a women healthcare platform, currently focused on expecting mothers. Prior to PregBuddy, I’ve led Product & Growth at SignEasy, Stayzilla, and cofounded back at my IIT days. Feel free to reach to me on Twitter @smondal1008 or at

The article has been republished here with the Authors’ permission. The article first appeared in the author’s LinkedIn pulse page.

Subhadeep Mondal

Co-founder & CEO of PregBuddy | Looking for Android FullStack Engineer | Speaker | Ex-Product at SignEasy,

Build #MVP to gather customer intelligence!! by @tejasvdeshmukh #health2con

Over the years working in Healthcare, witnessed endless innovation across the technology landscape over last few years. This is only due to the aspiring moguls who understand the crux of business and would like to capitalize on specific problems using new approaches.
Innovation is everywhere, be it harnessing the data power for population health or using advanced technology to enhance digital health. From Outcome Health, Livongo… toPriorAuthNow, each one of them have addressed a specific healthcare challenge in a unique way. Enhancing clinical outcomes, access to care, and improved operational efficiencies.
We are now living in the era of innovation!!

Startups are exploding in numbers; it’s very common to see a bunch of college drop-outs or professionals working extra hours to build their dream product. They strongly believe in their solution disrupt the way healthcare is delivered today.
All innovations begin with an idea, a futuristic thought, to solve current challenges. As an innovator, one needs to have strong business understanding and analytical skills to identify solutions addressing day-to-day challenges. Before building any product, one should figure out what problem is being solved and for whom. This perhaps is the first step to gauge success of a product.
Validate your idea by doing a competitor analysis and identify product uniqueness. Always be open to good ideas and also learn from competitor’s mistakes.
Once you put together all these pieces you begin your transition from ideation towards building minimal viable product.
Fig 1: MVP Process- Building Minimum Desirable Product
First step of building MVP is to define the user workflows (needless to say you understand the needs of different users). List all features that will be part of the entire product, as much as possible (it’s an evolving process). Prioritize features and group them into high value must-to-have vs potentially good-to-have. Once this exercise is complete, you may begin the development phase (Build-Test-Learn).
Most innovators fail to understand the real objective of MVP. It is to build product with minimum feature for visionaries and few initial customers, in other words we are selling a vision and not a product. Minimal viable product is all about translating end-user expectations.
Fig 2: Success formula for building MVP
Another key factor to ensure successful MVP is to leverage existing solutions that satisfy part of your  business workflows. For example: solutions like Pokitdok for Insurance verification, Validic for device integration, Vidyo for video collaboration, Twilio for secure messaging, MirthConnect as interface engine and many more. This is a much smarter approach than building all features from scratch. Why re-invent the wheel if someone has already solved that piece of puzzle. Our aim should be to design the core, the absolute essential features, with a unique proposition supporting seamless integration into existing workflows.
Early adopters should be convinced with the ease, usability, and value that the solution will add. MVP will help you to gather sufficient customer intelligence that will define the future development needs. Thus building a MVP will be your most valuable asset that will determine your success, and you will need a dynamic technology team to help you take off the idea.
We, at Faichi Solutions, are assisting innovative ideas to  quickly convert into MVP. We convert idea/ design into mature, scalable product, thus improving your chances to get next round of funding. We bring expertise like Population Health Management, Digital Health and Telemedicine, Remote Health Monitoring, mHealth, Enterprise system development, and Integrated Care Management. This helps startups to reduce overall development time to merely 12 to 16 weeks (within a budget of USD 60k to 85k, depending on the complexity of the product design). With experienced resources in healthcare, inherent Silicon Valley culture, we bring in two most valuable attribute Technology and Team, to your success.
Happy to connect with people with innovative ideas who are sitting on the fence (or otherwise) and itching to build a MVP.
Tejas Deshmukh

Highly skilled and motivated professional with rich experience of 13+ years in software product development for Healthcare and Life Sciences vertical, proven track record of building innovative solutions, providing strategic consulting, pre-sales and operational management.

3 P’s framework – Product Motivation by Prashantha Sawhney

This article is the last in the series related to 3 P’s framework to be successful. We finally focus on Product as it relates to the “why” and “what” work needs to be done.

Traditionally most people talk about products focusing on Feature – Function – Benefit methodology which has worked well for the past 40 years since it was introduced by IBM in 1976. With changes in times as well as proliferation of products, to differentiate their products, people also started to focus on USP (Unique Selling Proposition), RoI (Return on Investment), Efficiency savings, increased Effectiveness,  reduced TC (Total Cost of Ownership) etc. These are logical things which appeal to the mind, however many times we still are not able to decide on a specific product given this multitude of facts and figures.

This is where the Golden Circle from Simon Sinek comes in handy.  Focus is on moving from the Why to the What. It helps us understand the right way to reach our potential customers/partners and drives to deeper meaning on the very existence of the product.

The focus is now no longer just on the functionality that the product offers or how it achieves certain business objectives. With the clarity on why the product is needed, and with people who believe in the product, that brings in a good motivation for all involved parties and leads to eventual success.

PS: If you haven’t watched his TED video (in the top 3 most watched videos on TED) – please do take some time to watch it and get inspired.

Do share your feedback/ views on other approaches you may have followed to be successful.

The article was first published in Mr. Prashantha Sawhney’s LinkedIn Pulse post. The article is reproduced here with the authors permission. The views shared by the author are shared in his personal capacity

Prashantha Sawhney

Results-driven engineering professional with ~17 years of experience in leading high performance product teams
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