Category: Product Strategy

Hiten Shah on what NOT to do after a product launch

silly illustration of Hiten Shah

Hiten Shah looks nothing like that. No, this wasn’t drawn by a 5-year-old, sadly.

Hiten Shah sends out the best newsletter on building products I’ve come across, whether he’s giving advice about what to do, lessons from past mistakes, or recommending articles, his content is always good. Below are some snippets from his latest newsletter titled ‘The biggest mistake I used to make after launches and what I do now’.

On what to do after a product launch:

You soak it in, look around, and ask… what’s next?

Here’s where I’ve made some of my biggest mistakes. This exact moment.

My instinct is always to jump straight into building more stuff. Why not right?

He goes on:

But we resisted the tempting urge to immediately start building more features.

Why?

Because we didn’t actually know what to build.

An influx of people signing up for FYI meant there was more feedback than ever from people who hadn’t used the product before. People at companies of all sizes, in different types of roles, all with their own set of opinions.

Literally overnight, we had a new set of expectations for FYI that we didn’t know about previously.

In the past, I would have ignored this feedback and charged ahead based on previous rounds of research.

This time, with FYI, we paused.

Instead of assuming we already knew best, our next step was to learn all about what these new people thought about our product.

Sadly, I can’t link to the email for you to read the whole thing, but I highly recommend you go and subscribe to his newsletter. (I guess that’s the newsletter doing exactly what it was intended to do: get you to subscribe as the only way to read the content.)

On value-based Business Models

In a post on the Chargebee Blog, Sadhana Balaji writes:

Even though it’s inherently necessary to build your pricing on a value metric, Patrick Campbell, the CEO and co-founder of Price Intelligently, argued that picking the right value metric is crucial for a revenue model’s success.

Imagine two SaaS companies that each have 100 customers. The first charges on a per seat per month schema, but there’s little need for more than one seat for each customer. The other sells the exact same product but charges along a metric of particular usage in the app with a bare minimum per month charge. The former has an artificial ceiling on the MRR potentially gained from their customers. The latter’s MRR will grow as their customers grow and/or use the product more. I’d much rather be in company number 2.

~ Patrick Campbell

He has done a splendid job at condensing the function of a good value metric into three succinct points:

  • It should be easy for the customer to understand
  • It should align with the value the customer receives
  • It should grow with the customer’s usage

Many product designers only think about the product, neglecting the fact that so many good products fail because they didn’t have the right business model to help them succeed. The post above has great examples on value-based pricing, which might feel riskier at points, but it’s definitely the model I would hope to employ as much as possible. Read the full post on the Chargebee blog.