John Radford, CEO of Borne Agency joined us for a workshop on how to focus on product development and prioritisation as an early stage startup. Read below for his top tips,
- Product development should be data-driven and user-centric in order to make informed decisions. Use tools to track page visits, page drop offs etc
- Use this retention and engagement data to formulate hypotheses like ‘we’re losing people at sign up because the process is too long/takes you to a new page’ etc. Test whether that hypothesis is correct with minimal effort to check whether it’s correct. You can try A/B testing page designs, have a chatbot that asks users why they’re leaving, etc
- Have a group of users you want to build for? Speak to them directly to get feedback on product development and roadmap asking open-ended questions with a focus on ‘why’ so you extrapolate the maximum amount of value. Change ‘do you want this feature’ to ‘why do you want this feature’ ‘why didn’t you complete a purchase’. Avoid yes or no questions and don't lead the conversation too much.
- When gathering user insights, also remember to explicitly give users permission to be honest and provide feedback on what they don't like.
- Once you’ve got the feedback you need, prioritising features for the product roadmap should be based on the effort required versus the value that the new feature will bring. The Rice Method (Reach, Impact, Confidence, Effort) can be used to help prioritise. Always start with features or developments that have maximum impact with minimal effort.
- Measure success in terms of active and retained users, rather than vanity metrics such as downloads and sign-ups.
- If you’re trying to balance building confidence with your users, whilst getting steer from them on what to prioritise, consider rewarding them with discounts and tailored messaging.
- If you’re looking to build in public, consider creating a forum for early users to have a conversational dynamic and vote on features.
Watch the full video of John talk here.