The Product Summit - Notes

Zerodha Key Note - The Growth Mindset by Nithin Kamath

  • “You can’t ever predict these up and downs in entrepreneurship”
  • “All my reading happened in the last 2-3 years”
  • “We wanted to attract the investment crowd (in addition to traders) and one random conversation, we just decided to completely remove the brokerage charges for this crowd. That gave us virality”
  • “The flexibility that you have by being #bootstrapped is that you can go build things based on instincts”
  • “We have never chased revenue or growth as a company. We’ve always asked if it’s the right thing for the customer. If it’s the right thing for the customer, it’s usually good for business” #bootstrapped
  • “Our Zerodha University doesn’t have any Zerodha ads, it doesn’t ask you for a phone number”
  • “It might sound weird but there is no data team here. We’re not looking at any trade data. Only data we’re looking at is the issues on the platform and how we can resolve it” #product
  • “Incrementally, the data doesn’t add any intelligence. I broadly know the number (age group of customers) but don’t actively track it”
  • “There are rules when you trade. We wanted to take those rules and put them on the platform. So we started nudging customers for pennystocks” #product
  • “#business is playing a sport. You should be playing to your edge. As a business, you need to do what your core competency is”
  • “(Generalists or specialist?) I think specialist. It’s good to be a generalist to get a wider perspective but to go after a problem, run a business, you need to be a specialist. It improves the edge” #business
  • “Lot of us living in cities, we forget that it is a bubble. We look around us and assume that the entire country is like us
  • “I spend 2-3 hours everyday talking to our customers
  • “We’re a really lean tech team. 30 people overall. We don’t have a product manager per se” #team
  • “The coin platform was built by two people. We’ve done this experiments and figured that small teams are far more efficient”
  • “Almost all the people who joined us at the tech team in the early stages are still with us” #team
  • “I think If you attract someone just by offering stock options, they’re coming for the wrong reasons. Most people joining us join us for the right reasons and that makes it easier to retain” #team
  • “Getting investors is like marriage. They should stay with you in the long term. They should come in for the right reasons”

    Panel Discussion: Defining, Finding, Measuring Product-Market Fit & Beyond

Panel: Harsha Kumar, Tejas Vyas, Rahul Ganjoo, Gaurav Arora

  • “On any given day, at any given time – we (Zynga) can predict how much revenue we’re gonna make. If we’re not moving towards the target, we can turn on our experiments (features) and get us to the target” #business
  • “Undeniable that any startup journey begins with product market fit, finding your market that wants your product”
  • “Disruption is inevitable because any technology product can be imitated very quickly”
  • “Assuming that life is going to be good once you hit product market fit is a mistake, more often than not”
  • “When it comes to PMF, people assume that only output metric that matters is organic growth”
  • Organic growth only indicates the need in the market. It does not indicate product market fit” #business
  • “You know a product fit in the market when they use your product AND they’re willing to pay for your #product”
  • “We’re in a world where digital is default
  • “You don’t wanna lose customers because you’re not prioritising bugs”
  • “Some of the best ideas are where people are paying for an offline version of something already”
  • “If the user is making an investment in the platform, that’s a signal that monetisation can be turned on at a later stage”
  • “If you don’t pay attention to the user needs, you’ll soon get disrupted”
  • “In the consumer world, it’s become extremely hard to get consumer attention. The MVP from 5 years ago is not the same now”
  • “Product market fit is like when your parents tell you ‘Once you pass 10th, life will be a breeze”
  • “If you don’t truly understand how the market is evolving and don’t build for that, then product market fit is not gonna work for you”
  • “Out of 10 experiments, we throw away 9. They don’t even make it to production. We have to make those kind of ruthless prioritisation”

Panel Discussion: Engineering High Growth Product Teams.

Moderated by Pallav Nadhani Kaushik Subramanian

  • “It’s worthy to spend time in designing metrics. Metrics should be really simple and be atomic. Have clear set of actions that move metrics. Metrics are not just for the product team. All #metrics should align to the company’s vision”
  • “You get best results when you hire heterogeneously - different perspectives, different skills” #hiring
    • “Don’t hire people like yourself or whom you resonate with the most”
    • “It’s easy to have generalist specialise in one direction as your product matures than vice versa”
  • “PMs should have allocated capacity to customer interviews”
    • “When you realise you can’t draw a straight line from customer problems to your roadmap, you’re not hearing your customers enough”
    • “It should be mandatory to spend time with customers, and customers of customers, to bring the immersion and empathy into the process”
  • “You can’t always take something that works elsewhere and copy paste it here”
    • “I sense a blind followership which is not valid”
    • “We should definitely look up to what’s happening (in the valley) but not follow it religiously”
  • (on getting hired as a PM without experience)”You have more avenues to prove your role once you’re in the company than completely switching domains” #hiring
  • “Have low ego. Go in a with a view to listen to different people” #culture
    • “Execution is done with cross functional team. It’s better to build with them than decide and inform”
  • “It’s important not to lose track of your core business”
    • “Your adjacency shouldn’t jeopardise your core business”

Snehal Patel

  • “I initially used to say that ‘Product manager is the CEO of the product’ which I later realised is not true” #culture
  • “Start designing metrics from the company’s objective and work backwards
    • “Four lines of focus irrespective of the business - NPS, adoption, engagement & conversion”
  • “I look at functional attributes, personal attributes and domain attributes while #hiring”
    • “The ramp up period for those without domain expertise is going to be high because they have to spend a lot more time to understand the customers”
    • Functional aspect of product management is underrated
    • “You’re already getting what you can get to the table. Look for someone who can bring something different”
  • “Your roadmap should always be bottom up, solve for customer problems and build the roadmap from there”
    • “You should be able to map metrics with solving customer problems”
  • “Fundamentally, a product manager is about solving a problem for the customer”
  • “You don’t want blind followers. You want to take the risk of them failing. It’s easier said than done” #hiring
  • “As a platform PM, you’re not in a hurry to ship. You have to always focus on quality and scalability. This is not entirely true for functional PM, where you want to run experiments”

Khilan Haria

  • “The overrated expectation from a product manager is that they should be knowing depth of the technology stack, almost be the architect. I think asking the right questions to engineers is more important”
  • “#metrics should focus on value capture AND value creation”
    • “Lot of PMs focus on ONLY outcome metrics. The end outcome is impacted by many other things, it’s not directly controllable”
    • “(on external factors influencing metrics)The conversion on an e-commerce website is sometimes a function of price change, not the product”
  • “As a role, PM is a very catch-all role. I look for someone who’s entrepreneurial with high ownership” #hiring
    • “They need to solve things structurally, not just doing it by themselves all the time”
    • Teams have to be built around customer problems and NOT technology systems. It’s a common mistake product leaders make being influenced by engineering leaders”
  • “As a product leader, you should be comfortable documenting guidelines and best practices”
    • “Are you monitoring your top 5 metrics everyday? top 10 metrics every week? and not let customers tell you when something goes wrong”
  • “People take inspiration from solutions from the valley (as opposed to India), that’s not right. The problems are different, the consumers are different therefore the solutions are different”
  • “You should start acting the role before you get the role”
  • “Most product leaders are hands-on. They need to learn how to be hands off and give space for others to fail & learn”
  • “One of the co founders have to play the PM role early on”
    • “Your first PM shouldn’t be learning product management on the job” #hiring

Fireside Chat: Building a Category Shifting Product Against “Edtech Giants” with Karan Bajaj and Miten Sampat

  • “When kids start coding early, there’s a psychological shift happens that says ‘I’m gonna build things’”
  • “When you write software from early stage, the feedback loop of creating, experimenting sets in”
  • “If you scale too pre-maturely, then you’ll lose money. If you don’t scale early, then others will take the market. Our escape velocity was so rapid that even before everyone else woke up to the market, we had scaled”
  • “If I get great teachers on the platform, and they deliver good quality then the students are going to talk about it”
  • “The EdTech market will segment into two - asynchronous content and synchronous content. Byju’s is a great example of the former and we attacked the latter. There will be a place for both”
  • “The holy grail for edtech (if you ask me) is individualised learning and custom outcomes”
  • “(on recruiting teachers) Only an Indian company could’ve done what we’ve done because our top of the funnel for application is very high. About 6000 per day. From there, it’s a matter of operationalising the process of hiring the one teacher from the pool of applicants”
  • “In an EdTech product, the kid delight is critical. But the initial sell for the free trial is with the parent”
  • “Decisiveness is key. The biggest strength you have is super fast execution. Speed is not just a way of executing a strategy, speed in itself a strategy”
  • “Every time there’s an idea, I would say ‘Let’s launch it tomorrow’”
  • “The health and energy of the entrepreneur is also key but not often talk about.

Fireside Chat: Bharat - A Product Nation with Sridhar Vembu

Moderated by Pallav Nadhani

  • “The root to prosperity(for a country) lies in the ability to make things”
  • “Starting with the idea of ‘I want to change the world tomorrow’ is a recipe for failure. We’ll have to start smaller”
  • “Making things is important. But, I also include the know-how of designing those things. These two are slightly separated but we have to bring them together”
  • “The factory that manufactures iPhones get about 10-15$ whereas Apple makes the 600$. The part of assembling the final pieces in a factory together is worth only that much”
  • (on R &D)
    • “By R & D, I mean the know how of industrial processes. How do you build fiber optic networks? How do you build MRI machines? How do you build compilers and databases? That’s what I mean by R & D”
    • “Contrary to popular belief, it’s not that expensive to invest in R & D. But it’s hard work in terms of brainpower and toil”
  • “(on complex products that take longer to build)
    • A humble product can pay for products with a 1 - 2 year timeline. That product can pay for a products with 3 - 5 year timeline. And that can pay for a product with a much longer timeline”
    • “This kind of R & D is vital both for the companies and also the country”
  • (on learning)
    • “The bane of modernity is that we’ve started to worship credentials for credentials sake
    • “(on current sceanrio) The learning is incidental. The exam is more important. They’re very narrowly focused on what will help them score in exams and ignore the rest. It’s out of syllabus”
    • “Building a great product cannot come from this mindset because everything is out of syllabus. There is no syllabus for building great products
    • “I ignore credentials because it’s completely irrelevant to the task at hand (building products)”
  • “Government cannot build products, they should maintain law and order and things like that. Building products is our (private sector) job.”
  • “My life as a 21 yr old graduate student is pretty much the same as it is now. Maybe, I had spent more money as a 21 yr old than I do now”
  • (on capital)
    • “Capital is human capability. It is ability to build and maintain the infrastructure. It’s our ability to invent art, music, sculpture and products”
    • “And, there is cultural capital. Do we have good conflict resolution? Do we have trust? You cannot buy cultural capital with money”
    • “There are different forms of capital and it’s not just the monetary value”
    • “I want to redefine what capital means”
  • “We have to think like rural India which is still the majority of the population. We have to build products for that. Traditional industries do that well”
  • “That’s why I encourage entrepreneurs to spend time in the rural and connect with their roots”
  • “Revenue per employee is a metric we track because it allows you to keep your employees happy, spend for R & D and other projects. All of that needs to be paid for”
  • “I’m excited about the spread of broadband to rural India”
  • “I have a rule–nobody is allowed to praise me in the company”

Keynote: How OYO Created A New Product Category For Bharat by Ritesh Agarwal

  • “We got few things right but also made mistakes along the way. The trick is to get more things right and making fewer mistakes”
  • “You can set up systems and infrastructure to make sure that you don’t repeat your mistakes”
  • “You should be the best player in one segment rather than best player in every segment”
  • “My life experiences were most important because I could relate with the middle income market”
  • “The best companies were designed during a slowdown in that industry. Eg - AirBnb. By the time the world comes back, you can use that scale to your advantage”

On India

  • “Oyo began by saying that the top 30 million aren’t our targets. We wanted to serve the few hundred million beyond that”
  • “We’re going to talk about how to create for the real India and not just the top 20 - 30% credit card holders”
  • “The 10 - 15 Rs pouches sell more than the 100 - 200 Rs boxes. Serving the mass market is critical”

On hotel owners

  • “I was told that hotel management systems existed for a long time and no one used them, why would they use your product? (they’re not tech savvy)”
  • “If I’m a small hotel and home owner, I don’t see technology as a way to solve my problem but as an additional task for me to do. Until we solve the problem of the individual, it’s not worth giving them the technology”
  • “People will tell you that ‘This is how tech has been used at our industry’. Don’t agree to that. Use that as a data point but approach the problem from a first principle perspective”
  • “When you have to settle the dues with a small owner, there are too many variables. If it’s simple, it’s not detailed enough. If it’s complex, it’s not simple enough”
  • “Hotel owners say that if the room doesn’t sell for 2,000, I’ll keep it empty. What they don’t understand is that a 2,000 Rs rent for 10 occupants is much lower than 1,000 Rs rent for 80 occupants. We were tasked with educating our clients on the fact that it’s not about the price but overall earnings”
    • “100% of the prices are generated by machine learning algorithms. AI based pricing means you can make micro adjustments to the price. In contrast, a UK based small hotel owner only changes the price once a year”
  • “Being able to make sure that we come into our partners, improve their overall experience is critical.
  • “We were clear that our dynamic pricing was a key part of the value proposition and we wouldn’t do business with people who don’t get it”
  • “We call working in Oyo hotels as the best first job”
  • “The good thing about people who join us is that they’re always curious, they want to learn”
  • “Buddy up training is the best. We link one old person success to one new person”
  • “Oyo OS is not just like any other hotel management system. It is a smart system that looks at each and every aspect of hotel management. It ensures that hotel owners are focused on the customers, the true essence of hospitality”
  • “Every part of the business should be run within the OS, nothing should be run outside of it”

On Customers

  • “Customers like a reliable experience, they need to know the location and they want a fair deal”
  • “They adopt the product experience from the POV of ‘What is my pain point?’, than ‘Hey, this is exciting’. This is true even with entertainment apps where you must consider things like low storage and data usage”
  • “Technology doesn’t just help deliver a great experience but also bring down time and cost”
  • Refunds can make or break the online buying experience”
    • “We enabled auto refunds for customers who have stayed with us many times previously”

On Technology

  • “Products can also build and also break trust”
  • “We enable technology to lead decisions and not just suggest or recommend. In the world of AI, technology is going to make 80% decisions. If not make decisions, at least tech should strongly recommend”
  • “We’re running a campaign where every Oyo employee can run SQL queries to access insights from the data”
  • “Principles are important because it provides a compass. Rather than questioning things at a tactical level, use principles to make decisions”

    Panel Discussion: User Experience for Bharat - The 10x Growth Lever

Panel: Ranjit Radhakrishnan Sameer Chavan Karthi Subbaraman Shaheena Attarwala

  • On solving a #hiring problem
    • “Every company wants to test the design skills. We wanted to change that by adding a challenges platform. We announce a challenge, anyone can take the challenge and leaderboard would determine the top candidates”
    • “This experiment didn’t work out because the results were very subjective”
    • “From this we built DesignerCon where designers can submit solutions and companies can hire from there. Our initial vision didn’t change but our solution changed based on the experiment”
  • “Our designs are being inspired from the west but that’s changing”
  • “As we’re building the product, the first thing to do is identify the core loop that users have to go through. From there, identify the core actions that users take. Craft your #metrics around the core action
    • “It’s easy to focus on the wrong metrics and cracking the metrics in a wrong method”
    • “As product builders, we need to balance out the short term and long term metrics”
  • “Multiple product teams have different goal but sometimes there is no common goal at a company level. Then each product teams define their own metrics that’s not aligned” #culture
  • “When you’re going through the solution fitment, you need to measure a few metrics but that may not available”
  • “You need to mix and match quantification and qualification. The numbers enable you to ask the right questions and the qualitative measurement tells you why things happened that way” #metrics
  • “(on designing for kids) The expectations from a younger audience (5 yr) was more than the 10 yr olds. We went in thinking that we could simplify content we built for older kids to younger kids”
  • “Typically when we approach the Indian market, we say we are price sensitive and look for the economical option. But I was proven wrong. People were willing to pay a much higher price for value and didn’t care about A4 sheets (certificate)”
  • “The way we understand our Indian customers need to be tested on the ground and not lead with our assumptions”

Meet The Moment With Product-Led Growth by John Cutler

  • “Iconic brands like Walmart, Disney and P&G are making digital products not just an accessory but at the core of their offering”
  • “There is growth on both new users and also engagement from existing users”
  • “B2B SaaS saw a 25% increase with companies focused on remote collaboration”
  • “If you’re a media company, it’s like having the same amount of audience as the Game of Thrones finale”
  • “Physical and digital worlds are merging”
  • Big misunderstandings of being product led
    • “Being product led is not just being product management led. Companies don’t understand the cross functional aspect of being product led”
      • “If you don’t really engage designers or engineers, you’ll accrue a lot of technical debt. Designers and Engineers like to have impact and if you alienate them, it’s not work”
    • “People also think that being product led means no sales or marketing”
      • “A good product actually makes life of sales and marketing easy”
  • Advice for teams getting started on product led
    • “There are as many companies that swimming in unusable data as there are companies that are struggling to get data”
    • “They believe that they need to track thousands of event. They think that if they can’t fuse every system in the company to the product data, it’s not gonna work”
      • “It didn’t take more than 10 events to unveil what I call the long tail of insights
      • “If an event is captured and it didn’t influence a decision, it’s like a tree falling in the forest. No one heard it”
      • “Because the efforts of setting up the infrastructure is so high, teams think that they need to be tracking everything”
  • What’s unique about product analytics (as opposed to other analytics)
    • “Products are built to solve a problem”
    • “Product analytics is laser focused on the interactions between human beings and digital products
      • “Humans are unpredictable”
    • “If it’s a decent product, they stay with us for a long time”
    • “Funnel relationships are short. Product relationships are longer”
  • on product analytics being viewed as a threat (data science team, analysts). how to balance that with people?
    • “If you’re a centralised data analytics in a large dynamic organisation, you’re gonna have a lot of (dunno how to put this lightly) crap thrown at you”
    • “When things go right, no one’s their friend. When things go wrong, they are to be blamed”
    • “(from what we see)Data science teams treat analytics as service (from tools like Amplitude) and they do what they do well, extracting insights from the data”
    • “The teams that do well with product analytics are the teams that involve data science teams in the process. Partnership is the key”
  • on taking the practice to legacy organisations
    • “What we’re talking about is using design and technology to create sustainable growth to your business. we’re not even talking about product analytics”
    • “For companies like this (non tech), the company is the product. There’s no longer business and the IT”
    • “It’s all the same idea, just different flavours”
  • pitfalls
    • “You’re never gonna create a strategy that’s gonna win if your environment doesn’t surface discomforting information”
    • “It’s difficult to change environments through words only. It’s important to build the right habits that change environments”
  • overlap between lifecycle marketing and product data
    • “If you talk to a marketer and tell them that you can surface the right content in front of the user at the right time where they can derive value, that’s a dream for the marketer
    • “Marketers want to do right by the customers”
  • how are teams adopting to the world of the pandemic
    • “For many teams the pandemic led them to doing things that they wouldn’t otherwise do. They were risk averse before”
    • “The companies that put the pieces in place, this was an opportunity for them”
    • “When the going is good is when you should build resilience for the company because you don’t when it won’t be”
    • “I would recommend teams to look ahead and see some opportunity even though it’s a tough time”

Building a Scalable Product: From 0 to 500K Active Users by Apurva Joshi

  • “Be careful what you measure because that drives behaviours”
  • “Scaling your business gives you many challenges across tech, people and other areas. Important thing is to prioritse what you want to focus on”
  • “Understand the limits of your technology when you want to scale”
  • “What made you successful is not the same repeat story for the years ahead”
  • “Building a platform is difficult, building a community is even more difficult. If you do both right, you can win the hearts and minds of your customers”
  • “Be mindful of who you serve because if you try to make everyone happy, you end up with 200 services”
  • “Simple is not just about a simple product but simple pricing too”

Workshop: Re-design for Bharat by Sruthi Sivakumar

Persona

  • “Who are we designing for - answer this question before designing”
  • “If you want to design for someone, you should be able to empathise with that user”
  • Proto persona - skeleton of a persona. Starting point of a persona”
  • Empathy map - creating scenarios and stories that empathise with the user”
    • Think
    • Say & Do
    • Feel
    • Hear
    • Pains & Gains
  • “(on avoiding bias) You talk to so many users that you forget what you already know. You should be able to walk their shoes to an extent that you should be able to predict their reactions”

Design Guidelines

  • “Having 5 to 6 six design guidelines is recommended”
    • Around interactions
    • Communication with the user
      • Tone and voice
    • Network transparency
  • “The design guidelines won’t work if you keep it to yourself. Must be shared with the entire organisation”
    • Walk the important management stakeholders through the entire process
    • “If you can’t frontload the time in research, do it parallely”
    • “It’s worth investing time here because the organisation will empathise with the customer”

Customer Journey & Wireframing Validate

  • “The wireframes and visuals need to be validate. A wireframe or visual shouldn’t go live without testing. Even if it’s just two people”
  • “We have very little time but we have to do a lot of things. Doing the right things always helps even if the rewards come later”

Panel Discussion: Metrics VCs Invest In

  • Panel: Sajith Pai Ritesh Banglani Sanjay Mehta Amit Somani Seema Chaturvedi
  • What kind of traction stands out in startups
    • “If a metric doesn’t change the way you run the business, don’t worry about”
    • “A paying customer is the best validation you can get”
    • “…some evidence of customer responding to your solution”
    • “Is there a right team that can execute on the vision?”
    • “Is my customer still using the product 6 months after signing up”
    • “I prefer directly measurable metrics than metrics that need to be interpreted”
    • “…would look at customer obsession. How deep is the solution..”
  • How important is burn rate
    • “Unit economics and gross margin are good indicators”
    • “We’re looking to invest in businesses where the cost of acquiring a customer is pretty small”
    • “We need to beyond the simplistic. Any entrepreneur raising money is to incur the burn. Where that burn is going defines if it’s a good burn or not. If it’s going towards gross margin, then it’s bad burn”
    • “A burn plan is the only thing that’s in your control. Not the product plan because that can change based on the market”
  • Views on growth and scale
    • “Not just are you growing quickly? But are you growing more quickly this month than the last month?”
    • “It’s much easier to scale products, much harder to scale processes
    • “Optimise the learning loop, quickly learn about the customer and where the money is”
  • How much value you would give to projections
    • Planning is important but the plan is not important
    • “When there is too many excel sheets, it worries you. More than if you’re not getting anything. What you’re really looking for is some thinking”
    • “We get extremely worried if it’s too detailed. We get worried if there’s no thinking. It’s somewhere in between”
  • on derived metric
    • “If it doesn’t matter to your business, it’s a vanity metric
    • “Do spend some time on bottom up market sizing”
    • “Distribution has now become as important as the product”
  • do you push your portfolio to gain traction in any which way possible
    • “All good founders are obsessed with growth and selling”
    • “Advantage of a big portfolio is that founders in different stages can talk to each other”
    • “We give money because it should be used towards growth”
  • pivoting for growth
    • “Lot of pivots happen because you’re stuck in a small niche market”
    • “Many companies pivot for monetisation. You have an initial plan then you discover what customers are willing to pay for and what they’re not”
    • “If you give me a product roadmap for 18 months at a seed stage, then it’s not valid because you don’t know how it’s gonna change”
  • presenting metrics to VCs
    • “At an early stage, the VC is not necessarily only at the metrics. The VC is assessing you through the metrics you choose to present. What you choose to present and how you present it matters”
    • “Choose from the standard metrics of your industry, do not invent metrics. When you invent metrics, it tells me that your standard metrics are not good. It reduces the trust”
    • “The closer the metric is to commercial returns, the better it is. Those who don’t have profit, show revenue. Those who don’t have revenue, show users. Those who don’t have users show impressions. Those who don’t even have impressions show team growth size”
    • “Don’t massage your metrics too much. It’s okay for your metrics to be mediocre

Fireside Chat: Engineering Product Experimentation to reach 1BN Users by Satyan Gajwani and Vaibhav Vardhan

  • “When it came to where the Times group go, going digital came as a natural candidate”
  • “When we bought Cricbuzz, we told them you’re not allowed to move into our office. They knew how to run Cricbuzz and we just wanted them to continue doing what they were doing”
  • On running a business
    • “Because we have so much data, you can make any business look good
    • “When it comes to running a business, identify the key levers that make or break your business and be honest about whether we’re hitting it or not”
    • “Pick metrics that are honest reflections of how your customers care about your products”
    • “The sense of personal and intellectual honesty about the real metrics that matter to your business is very very critical”
    • “The question we’re asking ourselves - if we’re reaching so many audience, how can we better serve them?”
    • “MX player opened up our understanding products at this scale”
    • “The problem with data driven decision is that it’s often short term. Initially, customers may react negatively to change so you have to see it through”
  • On Times ecosystem
    • “Subscriptions in India is hard to develop especially when there are so many good free options. I’m trying to understand the willingness to pay and what can we build that’s worth paying for”
    • “The difference between the ones (subscription business) that grow and scale and the ones that don’t is not the difference in product. It’s just that there are too many options to pay for”
      • “Our strategy - what can we do that others can’t do? How do you make the value proposition so good that it’s a no brainer”
      • “Also asking ourselves - what would a paid product in our ecosystem look like?”
    • “We’re agnostic about how people peculate across the ecosystem. We’ll give nudges but the more important thing is to solve as many problem as we can”
    • “We wanted the backend plumbing for Times Prime to seamless. We spent a lot of time on the plumbing to ensure that”
    • “One of the internal debates is - do we promote separate products or do we promote the bundle”
    • “Ads today contribute to 70% of the revenue. Over the next few years, it might be at 50% but it’ll get smaller. There’s a lot of headroom for us in the non-ads business”
    • “It is cumbersome to run different brands, we spent time consolidating that”
    • “Markets where you have access to so many underlying products in a superapp, people tend to bias towards specific products
  • “There are cases where art beats science because no data would prove this (on a MX player product decision)”
  • “Build experiences that are naturally tangential, don’t take them in an opposite direction”
  • “You have to have a partial sense of paranoia and also see how business models are rapidly gonna change”
  • “Whether we acquire or invest, we do it because we believe in the founders and give them freedom to execute. They built the business, they understand it better. Let’s just give them our resources and if they need help, they’ll call”
  • On Product teams
    • “Great product depth is beyond experience, you’ll see younger PMs just out college who are intuitively better and passionate”
    • “The best product manager knows to measure what matters. The best PMs understand saliently what moves the needle and methodically test them”
    • “We try to minimise the layers. Every corporate book will tell you to have 5 - 7 people report into you. We are different. We have 30 ppl reporting into us because we wanted to eliminate the layers. We don’t want to have information filtered through the layers”
  • “it’s hard for me to hold people accountable to a business if they’re not making all the decision in the business”
  • “Companies have the habit of just being their worst enemy”
  • “As an ecosystem we’re playing in the digital fringe because the biggest opportunities - search, ecommerce are dominated by global companies”
  • “In some sense even if they don’t want to be, Google is a gatekeeper when it comes to apps”
  • “We like app stores because they protect us from malware and stuff. But if we look at the PC ecosystem, you didn’t have an app store to download PC applications”
  • “There are things that customers don’t want but businesses are excited about. They (Cricbuzz) are super focused on what customers want”

I tweet about product, productivity, tech and a lot of memes. If you want to connect with me, Twitter (@yenceesanjeev) would be the best place