I see startups that are obsessed with growth hacking to the point where they think it’s going to lead them to the product roadmap.
And I see startups that have a great product vision, but they keep adding features and capabilities without worrying about solid user traction.
Neither approach is ideal on its own; but the combination works well.
In the first case, the tail is wagging the dog. Your growth hacking may tell you what features are getting more engagement than others, but if you are just testing features, it’s like throwing darts on the wall, and forgetting you can have a solid arrow instead, with all the wood behind it.
In the second case, the wheels will eventually come off. Product vision delivery will get weakened if it’s not supported by solid user traction, engagement and repeat behavior. This means you may miss the Product/Market fit phase because you would have skirted around it.
Growth hacking alone cannot lead you to a product vision, but it can lead you to maximizing your product/market fit, if you already have a great product vision. They work together.
Ben Yoskovitz (left) is an entrepreneur with a product management orientation, and he is the co-author of Lean Analytics, a widely read book on metrics for lean startups. Ben is currently VP Product, VarageSale, and was previously VP Product at GoInstant (acquired by Salesforce). Ben is also an active angel investor.
Jason Moore (right) is also an entrepreneur. He is the CEO and co-founder of Videostream, a Waterloo-based startup that is redefining how you watch streamed videos on your TV. Jason and his 3 co-founders were the first Canadian team to win the Startup Weekend competition in 2012, and went on to form a startup together, and were accepted at Hyperdrive, Communitech’s accelerator.
What Ben and Jason have in common is they are both leading product vision and delivery for their respective companies, and they are both Mobile App centric products. Ben’s orientation is slightly more tilted towards product and lean metrics, whereas Jason’s is an expert on growth hacking and measuring user engagement.
I am looking forward to exploring the overall relationships between product roadmap, product vision, lean analytics, growth hacking with Ben and Jason. Having both of them together means that we’ll able dive into these topics from two different points and experience angles, but also holistically covering how you can do both Growth Hacking and Product Vision well, together.