CHAPTER 16Product Strategy

If you have an inspiring and meaningful product vision that you're all working toward achieving over the next several years, the product strategy is your path to making this product vision a reality.

If product teams are all about solving hard problems, then product strategy is all about how you decide which problems are most important to solve.

There are always many good opportunities you could pursue, and there are also many legitimate threats to your business.

The question is: How do you select the best opportunities, and how do you decide which are the most serious threats?

Principle: Focus

As Steve Jobs said, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”

In stakeholder-driven models, it is inherently nearly impossible to have this necessary focus. That's because each stakeholder has their own goals and needs, and the company is simply trying to satisfy as many stakeholders as possible.

In contrast, in the product model, you need to look holistically at both the opportunities and threats, and the product strategy is where you get serious about focus and making the biggest impact.

It's important that the senior leaders of the company participate in the decisions on focus, ...

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