What is your product strategy?

Many times when I ask product managers or founders this question they draw a blank.

This seems to be true for many startups and sometimes even bigger companies.

The question:

“What is your product strategy?”

Maybe the word strategy gets a bad rap because of management consultants. 🙂

For startups it may seem to indicate something far out when many are struggling with operational issues.

There is a simple way to look at it.

If you don’t know where you are going, how will you get there?

Simply put, it’s a statement of how you will stand out in the market and how will you get there and what is the underlying business goal.

What are key elements of a product strategy?

– What do you want to achieve – business goals for product and company

– Whom will you serve – target customers and how – by doing what for them

– Why are you better – USP, differentiators, etc.

What do you use it for?

– To guide your decisions for roadmap

– To allocate resources across development, marketing and sales

– To break the high level into tasks with timelines

What it should NOT be or do?

– Just a vision statement

– Ignore competition and customer needs

– Set in stone (it should be flexible if it’s not working or the market changes)

Can you articulate your product strategy?