"The Product Strategy Stack: Connecting the Dots for Success in Today's Competitive Market"

Aviral Vaid

Hatched by Aviral Vaid

May 24, 2024

4 min read


"The Product Strategy Stack: Connecting the Dots for Success in Today's Competitive Market"

In today's fast-paced and competitive business landscape, companies are no longer gaining a strategic advantage solely through operational capabilities such as supply chains and logistics. Instead, the quality of their products has become the determining factor for success or failure. However, difficulty in prioritizing tasks often stems from strategy issues rather than execution problems. Without clear guidance on how to prioritize effectively, it becomes challenging for teams to execute and seize opportunities.

To address this challenge, it is crucial to have a well-defined strategy that aligns with the company's mission and connects to the day-to-day work. The product strategy plays a vital role in driving the company's overall strategy, as it outlines how the product will contribute to achieving the company's goals. It is the logical plan that guides the product team in their efforts.

Additionally, a product roadmap is essential to implement the product strategy. It is a sequence of features that will be developed to drive the product's part in the overall company strategy. The product goals, on the other hand, are the measurable outcomes that track progress against the product strategy. These goals serve as indicators of success and provide direction to the team.

Interestingly, while the missions and strategies of companies like Slack and Discord may differ significantly, there is often overlap in the work done by their respective product teams. Product managers at both companies may be working towards the same product goal, but in service of entirely different company strategies. Therefore, it is vital for roadmaps and goals to be tethered to both product and company strategy, ensuring alignment and maximizing impact.

It is important to differentiate between strategy and goals. Strategy is the plan that outlines how the team will win, while goals define what winning looks like. Achieving goals does not necessarily equate to progress on the overall company strategy. This misconception often arises when product leaders mistakenly assume that product strategy is synonymous with company strategy. In reality, functions such as sales, marketing, and support also play critical roles in the company's success.

As logistics and operations have become commoditized, product strategy has become increasingly central to overall company strategy. However, it is essential to recognize that product is not the exclusive driver of success. Goals should flow from a well-designed product roadmap that focuses on delivering value to users.

The company mission serves as the foundation for the entire organization. A good company mission is aspirational and emotionally appealing, motivating employees to come to work every day and customers to embrace the company's role in their lives. It should only change when the company's view of the world changes.

Some companies also define a separate vision, which describes the world they envision, and a mission, which outlines the role the company plays in that world. This distinction helps clarify the company's purpose and guides its strategy.

In the world of investments and market valuations, the concept of economic value is based on the simple principle that anything someone wants has value. The more something is desired and the scarcer it is, the higher its value. However, not everything can be easily quantified or computed. The reason for this lies in the fact that different individuals have varying time horizons, goals, ambitions, and risk tolerances.

What may seem rational to one person may be considered crazy by another. Innovation and advancement occur precisely because we have individuals with different perspectives and ways of thinking. It is the diversity of minds that drives progress. Sometimes, great ideas fail to take off due to poor communication, while outdated or incorrect ideas, when presented convincingly, can spark revolutions.

In conclusion, to succeed in today's competitive market, companies must prioritize their product strategy and ensure alignment with the overall company strategy. Clear communication and connection between the product roadmap, goals, and strategy are essential for effective execution. Additionally, understanding that not everything can be computed and embracing different perspectives and ideas can lead to innovation and success.

Three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Align your product strategy with the company's mission: Ensure that your product roadmap and goals are in line with the purpose and vision of the company. This alignment will provide clarity and direction for your team.
  • 2. Communicate and connect: Clearly define and communicate your product strategy to the entire organization. Connect the dots between the product roadmap, goals, and company strategy to ensure everyone understands their role in achieving success.
  • 3. Embrace different perspectives: Recognize that not everything can be easily quantified or computed. Embrace diversity of thought and encourage collaboration among team members with different backgrounds and perspectives. This can lead to fresh ideas and innovative solutions.

By incorporating these actionable advice and understanding the importance of a well-defined product strategy, companies can navigate the complexities of the market, drive innovation, and achieve long-term success.

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