Rough Notes

Core, Adjacent and Disruptive Innovations:

  • Core: Optimizing existing products for established markets. Draws on skills and assets the company already has in place and makes incremental changes to current products.
  • Adjacent: Leveraging something your company does well into a new space.
  • Disruptive: Solves a customer problem in a better, more convenient, cheaper way than alternatives.
  • Idea validation for Core to Disruptive is low to high.

Customer Segments

  • Customer-first attribute segments: when making core innovations.
  • Benefit-first segments: when making adjacent or disruptive innovations.
  • Avoid these two mistakes:
    1. Don't blindly follow predefined segments.
    2. Don't discard an idea because it does not fit into predefined segments.
  • A good way to measure Market Segments is to use the GE/McKinsey Matrix. This is a XY scatter plot that pits Business Strength on the X axis vs Segment Attractiveness on the Y axis (both from low to high).
    • Determining Attractivesness:
      • Need
      • Segment size
      • Growth rate
      • Competitors
      • Entry barriers


  • Don't clutter personas with irrelevant characteristics, attitudes and behaviours.

Find an itch that worth scratching

  • Understand why people would want to buy and use it.
  • The product must be sticky.
  • Vitamins: Products like Sonos that don't solve a pain or urgeny need. A nice-to-have.
  • Painkillers: Products that address a problem like Bing or Google Search.

Strategy Canvas

  • Captures key factors the industry competes on ie product, service, delivery.
  • Looks like two comparative line graphs with enlarged nodes.

Kano Model

  • Implemented vs satisfied axes.
  • Comprised of Delighters, Performers and Basics.
  • Think iPhone, basics were call and text, performers were mobile Internet and a media player, delighters were touch screen and stylish new design.
  • When comparing Strategy Canvas vs Kano Model, the delighters are like new features and performers resemble the raised factors.
    • Kano lacks explicit reference to competitors, but recognises some features can be detractors.

Eliminate-Raise-Reduce-Create grid

  • This grid helps determine which features to keep/cut. This can be overlaid with the strategy canvas.

Build Variants and Unbundle Your Product

  • Unbundling features and introducing product variants can enable you to effectively grow the product, serve a new segment, generate more business benefits, and increase the product's competitiveness.
  • When spinning off features or developments, consider creating standards and assets — including components, services and other archtiectural building blocks.
  • You can also bundle your product when individual products are too small and not attractive enough to succeed on their own. Example: combining Internet Explorer and Windows helped Microsoft win the first "browser war".

Reposition Your Product

  • Subbranding is important: there are different associations with Apple, Google, Amazon when compared to the iPhone, Google Maps, Amazon Web Services.

Uncategorised notes

  • Use data to make decisions.
  • Turn failure into opportunity.
  • Get out of the building.
  • Focus on the biggest risk, not necessarily the technical feasibility.
  • Red-dot game: give everyone three dots and ask them to place it beside what they are most concerned about.
  • Problem interviews: structured conversations with target users and customers.
  • Pivoting is only attractive if you pivot early, when the cost of changing direction is comparatively low.
  • Timebox: fixed period of time that cannot be extended.

Product Roadmap

  • Roadsmaps translate strategic decisions into actionable plans that provide direction for the dev team and the other stakeholders.

Roadmap Foundations

  • In the simplesrt form, the roadmap indicates how a product is likely to evolve with major releases.
  • Can be feature-based or goal-orientated.
  • Best roadmapping approach for product depends on amout of uncertainty and change present.
    • Matrix to help has X axis Market vs Y Axis Product.
    • Product grouped as young/mature.
    • Market grouped as dynamic/stable.
    • Feature-based roadmaps only useful for mature/stable, else goal-orientated.
  • Get a relationship between the backlog and product roadmap right.

Road-Mapping Pitfalls

  • No guarantee: roadmaps are a high-level plan.
  • No speculation: Don't create a roadmap if you don't have a valid product strategy available.
  • No epics or user stories. (FYI Epics are longer narratives that contain multiple stories.)
  • Make roadmap SMART (specific, measureable, agreed, realistic, time-bound).

GO Product Roadmap

  • Spreadsheet consisting of:
    • Dates/time frames
    • Release names
    • Reason for new release
    • High-level features necessary to meet the goals
    • Metrics to determine if the goals have been met