3 - How to craft a product strategy?

Frame the story starting with the problem, quantify it to show the opportunity, then arrive at the solution.

Why It's Important

At its core, strategy is a pathway to achieve a mission or goal.  Without a credible product strategy, teams won’t connect with the greater purpose of your product and how it relates to the broader team mission. They will ultimately struggle to find alignment and to deliver the desired product.

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How to Use This Principle

Ground your strategy in the “why” before the “how.” Go deep into the reasons it matters. Include key stakeholders for early feedback about your strategic story—do not simply say “Here is the final version.” Seek feedback early to strengthen the final strategy.

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Real-life application by Marily Nika, Product Lead at Google

I was once building an application in the EdTech space, and I was working with a team of 4 more people. While I knew ‘what’ I wanted to build, and for the most part we had a lot of code ready to go in terms of basic UX but also AI-enabled functionality, I asked the team to wait before implementing anything. It was a startup that I was founding, so I wanted to make sure I had a clear reasoning and idea of who I was building this for, what pain points it would solve, what the feature-set should include, and so on. 

I avoided falling for the ‘shiny object’ trap where you have fancy tech that is cool just because of what it does, because in the long run we would hit a wall and the costs of pivoting and changing directions later would be destructive.

Not only did this pause in pace set us up for success, but it also helped with fundraising as investors realized we had done proper due diligence and followed a strategic approach that demonstrated we knew what we were talking about and that we were indeed the best people to proceed with building this particular application.

How to align stakeholders & product teams?

Set team goals and principles, then bring everyone together with written artifacts, frequent feedback, and communication.

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Principle Four - Product Manifesto

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