The Product Momentum Gap
How new products start
In the early days, your team was small, and business grew quickly. As a founder, you were likely driving product development, adding features rapidly and making most, if not all, of the decisions:
- New customer acquisition was high
- Support and sales teams were maxed out
- Revenues increased rapidly
You can now see product-market fit!
Hitting the growth curve
Now things are speeding up! You began hiring more and more people to support the growing business needs:
- Sales teams to increase acquisition
- Customer success teams to increase retention and upsell
- Engineers to build product improvements
- Product managers to manage the product development process
New founder responsibilities
But with growth comes fewer and fewer day-to-day responsibilities for you. This is to be expected, but you do not see the results you want:
- You no longer have a good understanding of the roadmap
- Features aren’t being released any more quickly – and maybe more slowly
- There’s confusion over the product strategy
- Business costs have increased
- Product usage isn’t going up
- Acquisition not scaling
- Retention not improving
- ARR not increasing
These issues are now starting to have an impact on other areas of the business, causing problems with both retention and sales.
- Customers aren’t getting the features they were promised.
- Sales are not improving their win rate as competitors have functionality that you don’t.
- Customer service is constantly dealing with the same issues.
- It's hard for you to see how and where the resourcing in product is adding extra value and accelerating the growth of the business.
We call this the Product Momentum Gap
This is the place where increased resourcing isn’t leading to increased value output.
You feel you’re losing ground on competitors and falling behind on your business plan. You can see the problems looming in the distance: shorter cash runway, investors asking difficult questions, and you may have to start reducing costs if things don’t turn around.
You may feel you need to get more involved in the product again to bring back the successful growth from the early days.
We find from talking to other businesses like yours that that usually creates new problems without solving the issues you’re worried about.
Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of the Product Momentum Gap:
- You personally get stretched as you now have other responsibilities that can’t easily be delegated or ignored (managing other departments, raising funding, dealing with investors), so other areas of the growth plan start to suffer.
- Product decision-making slows down even more – or becomes knee-jerk reactions to individual customer demands or competitor features.
- Focus switching increases, reducing output from engineering and slowing down product development even more.
- Frustration and lack of motivation in the product and engineering teams lead to increased churn and further reduced output.
Closing the Product Momentum Gap
So how and where do you start?
Instead of creating more distractions, wouldn’t it be better if you could achieve the following:
- A clarified product roadmap and improved visibility and buy-in across the business.
- Easier and quicker decision-making about product development priorities.
- A confident product and engineering team that can deliver faster.
- A clear pathway to providing exceptional product value with increased net retention and upsell.
And all of this without you having to lose focus on managing the business.
Introducing the Momentum Program
We’ve had great success helping businesses like yours with our Momentum programs.
We provide hands-on coaching focused on helping product leaders with strategy, prioritization and empowerment.
Each coaching programme is eight weeks long, with an intense focus on building and ingraining positive product leadership mindsets and habits.
It kicks off with a Product Value Creation Plan to drive fast improvements in your process and quickly unlock customer value, and increase retention and acquisition, so you can hit hyper growth and build amazing products.