The DHM Model: Unlocking Product Success and Becoming a Top 1% Product Manager

Aviral Vaid

Hatched by Aviral Vaid

Jul 01, 2023

4 min read


The DHM Model: Unlocking Product Success and Becoming a Top 1% Product Manager


In the competitive world of product management, the top 1% of product managers are distinguished by their ability to think big, communicate effectively, simplify complex tasks, prioritize effectively, and forecast and measure success. By incorporating the DHM (Delight, Hard-to-Copy, Margin-Enhancing) Model and adopting the mindset of a top 1% PM, you can unlock the potential for product success and propel your career to new heights.

  • 1. Delighting Customers: The Foundation of Product Strategy

When developing a product strategy, the key question to answer is how your product will delight customers in ways that are hard to replicate and enhance profitability. Building a strong brand and establishing trust with customers over time is crucial. By delivering consistent value and minimizing trustbusters, you can cultivate a loyal customer base that will advocate for your product. Additionally, leveraging network effects, economies of scale, unique technology, counter-positioning, switching costs, and process power can create hard-to-copy advantages that set your product apart from the competition.

Actionable Advice:

  • Exercise #1: Reflect on how your product currently delights customers and brainstorm ideas to further enhance their satisfaction in the future.
  • Exercise #2: Utilize the eight hard-to-copy powers mentioned above to brainstorm ways your product can establish a sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Exercise #3: Create a list of potential price and business model experiments to explore within the next 1-3 years to optimize your product's profitability.
  • 2. Thinking Big: Unleashing Disruptive Opportunities

To join the ranks of the top 1% of product managers, it is essential to think beyond the constraints of the present resources and market environment. A top 1% PM envisions large-scale, disruptive opportunities and develops concrete plans to seize them. By identifying untapped potential and presenting it in a compelling manner, you can convince stakeholders to allocate the necessary resources and support your vision.

Actionable Advice:

  • Embrace a growth mindset and challenge yourself to think beyond the status quo. Look for unexplored territories and disruptive ideas that can revolutionize your product.
  • Develop a strategic plan that outlines the necessary steps to capitalize on these opportunities and present it with conviction, using both data and persuasive techniques to gain buy-in.
  • 3. Simplifying Complexity: Maximizing Value with Minimal Effort

A top 1% PM understands the Pareto Principle, aiming to extract 80% of the value from a feature or project with just 20% of the effort. By focusing on the essential aspects and avoiding unnecessary complexity, you can streamline processes, improve efficiency, and deliver impactful results. Simplification allows you to allocate resources effectively and achieve more with less.

Actionable Advice:

  • Prioritize features and projects based on their potential impact and alignment with overall product goals.
  • Continuously seek ways to simplify processes, eliminating unnecessary steps and complexities that hinder progress.
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to identify opportunities for shared resources and leverage collective expertise to streamline efforts.
  • 4. Prioritizing Effectively: Striking a Balance

Successful product managers know how to sequence projects and strike a balance between quick wins and long-term platform investments. By prioritizing effectively, you can allocate resources strategically and ensure a healthy balance between offensive and defensive initiatives. This ability to prioritize demonstrates your understanding of the bigger picture and your commitment to maximizing the overall success of the product.

Actionable Advice:

  • Evaluate projects based on their potential impact, feasibility, and alignment with the product's vision and goals.
  • Consider both short-term gains and long-term sustainability when making prioritization decisions.
  • Regularly reassess priorities as market conditions and customer needs evolve.
  • 5. Forecasting and Measuring Success: Mastering the Last Mile

A top 1% PM possesses the ability to accurately forecast the benefits of a project and efficiently leverage past experiences and benchmarks. By mastering the last mile of the decision-making process, you can effectively communicate the value proposition to executives, peers, and stakeholders. Understanding their motivations, building trust, and leveraging persuasive techniques will enable you to navigate the decision-making landscape and secure support for your initiatives.

Actionable Advice:

  • Develop a data-driven approach to forecasting, leveraging historical data, industry benchmarks, and market trends.
  • Tailor your communication style and message to resonate with each stakeholder, emphasizing the benefits and aligning with their priorities.
  • Continuously measure the progress and impact of your projects, adjusting strategies as needed to ensure success.


Becoming a top 1% product manager requires a combination of strategic thinking, effective communication, simplification, prioritization, and the ability to forecast and measure success. By incorporating the DHM Model and adopting the mindset of a top 1% PM, you can unlock the potential for product success and propel your career to new heights.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Continuously seek opportunities to delight customers and establish a hard-to-copy advantage.
  • 2. Embrace a growth mindset and think beyond the limitations of the present.
  • 3. Simplify processes and prioritize initiatives to maximize impact with minimal effort.

By implementing these actionable advice, you can elevate your product management skills and set yourself apart as a top 1% product manager.

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