How to find new markets through value chain analysis

I have been familiar with the concept of the value chains for quite a long time. However, it wasn’t until I read Ben Thompson’s Stratechery blog (I highly recommend reading it at https://stratechery.com/) that I came across its practical applications in market analysis. Looking at products and companies from the point of view of their position in the value chain opens up a new perspective that helps to understand them, find not-so-obvious opportunities, and make more effective decisions.

Today I’ll talk about value chains within the context of expanding an established business or product to new markets. There will be more essays devoted to companies entering the new markets. In each, I will focus on different aspects of this process.

In this series of essays, I want to analyze the possible ways for businesses and products to enter adjacent and new markets. I will also discuss the advantages, nuances and pitfalls of these methods.

In this post, I focus on one of the most risk-free ways to enter a new market, which basically involves moving along the value chain towards the related dependent segments.

P.S. If you want to learn how data can help you build and grow products, take a look at Simulator by GoPractice!

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Onboarding a product manager — do’s and don’ts in the first few weeks

Every company is unique in its own right, and starting a new job can be a daunting task. Things get even more complicated if you’re jumping into a product manager role, where you virtually interact with all the moving parts of the company. Even veterans can find the first few weeks (or months) frustrating and tiresome.

Fortunately, Anna Buldakova, a seasoned product manager who has worked at several companies, has figured out a formula that can smoothen the journey make the initiation process much more pleasant. In her latest post, Anna shares her experience in finding your way around the people, the culture, the customers, and the product of your new company.

P.S. If you want to learn how data can help you build and grow products, take a look at GoPractice! Simulator.

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Slack vs Teams vs Workplace: The intriguing dynamics of the work messenger market

Watching new and rapidly changing markets can teach you many things. The work communication market led by companies such as Slack, Microsoft Teams and Workplace by Facebook is something I have been following for a long time.

Last year, before Slack went public, I did an analytical review of the data disclosed in Slack’s S-1 filing. At the end of that review, I shared my opinion that Slack experienced problems in the enterprise segment: the competition from Microsoft Teams and Workplace by Facebook for this market segment threatened Slack’s long-term growth prospects and its $20+ billion valuation.

A lot of things have happened in the eight months that have passed since I published that essay. A lot of new data has surfaced, with one of the biggest market intrigues fading away and a new one appearing. The leading characters once again reminded us of a number of fundamental rules the market plays by. And this is exactly what I am going to talk about in this essay.

P.S. If you want to learn how data can help you build and grow products, take a look at GoPractice! Simulator.

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Why your A/B tests take longer than they should

When conducting experiments, teams usually include all the active users in their tests, or sometimes they tend to add all the new users who join the app during this test. So when calculating the metrics for different test groups, all the data from the moment the A/B test kicks off is taken into account.

Today I’ll talk about how you can reduce the time required to get the signal on the change you are testing in a product. You can do that by changing the process of adding users to the A/B test, and in this essay I will show you how you can do it.

P.S. If you want to learn how data can help you build and grow products, take a look at GoPractice! Simulator.

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Importance of clearly defining the metric. Or why Spotify’s paying conversion rate is not 40%

Many articles online compare the freemium conversion rates of Spotify, Dropbox, Slack and Evernote. In one article, the author claims that Spotify’s freemium conversion tops Dropbox by 667%. Another article states that Spotify freemium conversion rate is above 40% while “for most companies that leverage this business model, freemium conversion rates hover somewhere between 2 and 5 percent.”

In this post, I will dispel the myth that Spotify’s conversion rate is somewhere around 40-50%. More importantly, I will discuss why It is very important to be clear about what data underlies a certain metric, because people sometimes use the same metric name but in effect they mean different things.

P.S. If you want to learn how data can help you build and grow products, take a look at GoPractice! Simulator.

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Experiments where you make your product worse – the most underrated product manager tool

Let’s start with a practical task.

Say a company’s management wants to allocate significant resources to the development of infrastructure that would increase their app’s speed. The hypothesis is that increasing the speed of the app will have a positive effect on the user experience and the key metrics.

Think of an experiment (an A/B test) to validate this hypothesis.

P.S. If you want to learn how data can help you build and grow products, take a look at GoPractice! Simulator.

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How engagement metrics can be misleading

It is common to evaluate your product performance and the impact of changes you make by using engagement metrics with active audience in the denominator. Examples of these metrics include the time spent per active user, the occurrence of certain actions (messages sent, levels played, chapters read, etc) per active user, or ratio metrics (what percent of active users perform a specific action) .

In most situations, these engagement metrics will be helpful. But in some cases, they can be misleading. And it is important to understand why and when this can happen, and what you can do about it.

P.S. If you want to learn how data can help you build and grow products, take a look at GoPractice! Simulator.

pic from http://mediainjection.com

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What is product/market fit and how to measure PMF

Product/market fit is an important concept when working on a new product. All entrepreneurs and product managers are committed to it. But if you ask what the term means, very few will be able to give a clear answer. Even fewer will have an understanding of how we can measure product/market fit using metrics.

Without a clear definition, even the most useful concepts will be of little help when making decisions. In this post, we will discuss some of the most common product/market fit definitions and their advantages and disadvantages, as well as tell you about PMFsurvey.com (Product / Market fit survey by Sean Ellis) developed in collaboration with GoPractice, which is designed to give you an objective metric of how close are you to Product / Market fit.

P.S. If you want to learn how data can help you build and grow products, take a look at GoPractice! Simulator.

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How to increase the effectiveness of your product analysts

Finding insights and answers to questions in data is a key skill in product analytics. And developing this skill is the area where analysts usually see their growth potential.

Talking from experience, I strongly recommend paying attention to another aspect of analytical work: communication skills. Key here is not only finding insights, but also turning them into projects and making sure they convert into real value for users. 

Getting to this point requires building relationships with the team, participating in key discussions, gaining credibility, and learning to present information in an effective way.

This article provides a series of recommendations for product analysts. However, it will be equally useful for product managers and executives who want to maximize the impact of analysts working in their teams.

P.S. If you want to learn how data can help you build and grow products, take a look at GoPractice! Simulator.

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Product Leadership: interview with Vaibhav Sahgal, Head of Growth at Reddit

What are the traits of a good product manager? Where do you get started from? How do you know you’re on the right track? Those are the questions that should be on the mind of anyone who yearns to have successful career in product management.

While each of us will have own unique journey to success, there’s a lot we can learn from successful product managers. One of them is Vaibhav Sahgal, former Director of Product and Vice President at Zynga, and current Head of Growth at Reddit. In an interview with Anna Buldakova, Vaibhav shared tips on growing your career as a product manager, balancing short- and long-term bets, and also developing the right skillset to become a product leader.

P.S. If you want to learn how data can help you build and grow products, take a look at GoPractice! Simulator.

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