People don’t really want products, they want solutions to their problems. This is why it is crucial for a product manager to understand his/her customers’ needs completely and be able to solve their problems by using products.
It sounds pretty complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. In a recent talk, Product Manager at Facebook gave us an example of a real-life process where she solved people’s problems.
Product Manager at Facebook
Aigerim Shorman is a Product Manager at Facebook. Before Product Management, she founded her own company TripTrotting that was later called Wist. Before her own company, she was an Investment Banking Analyst at USB Investment Bank and taught with Teach for America. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and speaks four languages.
How to Solve People’s Problems?
In this workshop, Aigerim provided a clear scope of the product manager role. She discussed the mechanics of the product development process and the communication needed to ensure transparency across stakeholders. Additionally, she talked about how to use user feedback to inform decisions.
- At Facebook, they don’t call their user base customers nor users. They call them “people” and their motto is “people problems first.”
- Product ideas come from various sources; people (users), engineers, competitors, etc. Most importantly the ideas come from problems.
- Every idea should focus on the customer needs and on understanding the customer.
- The 1st step in solving people’s problems is doing research.
- Try to understand what’s happening and what the customers are doing.
- For example, at Facebook, they noticed that people were using a picture that supported a sports team or cause as their profile picture. The Facebook team started to think how they can make this better for the user and help them express themselves more easily.
- Step 2: Data.
- How big is the idea and is there enough data for it?
- The size of the user base doesn’t matter. If you see a pattern in research think about how you can translate it into bigger numbers.
- Step 3: Identify pain points.
- Identify the points in current experience and brainstorm ideas for them.
- Size the already existing profile pictures and think how you can make the process easier for them.
- Step 4: MVP
- Build an MVP quickly (<2 months) and get feedback for it.
- Think about what is the minimum viable product within the one user base or some group where you and test and see quickly if it works or not.
- Facebook tested with a couple of partnering logos and sent a call to action. In a couple of days, they had 1M people using the logos. This resulted pointed in the direction that it’s worth doing on a large scale.
- Step 5: V1 Of the Product
- The purpose is to gain more feedback.
- Facebook tried it with the French flag by allowing people show support to the victims of 2015 terrorist attack in Paris. They got 120M in two days to use the feature meaning that it was a success.
- Step 6: Fully Scaled Product
- Iterate and ship the fully scaled product when you know there’s product-market fit for it.
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