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Better Metrics for New Products

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  • Jim Semick is co-founder of ProductPlan, a leading provider of cloud-based roadmap software for product and marketing teams. For more than 15 years he has helped launch new products now generating hundreds of millions in revenue. He was part of the founding team at AppFolio, a vertical SaaS company. Prior to AppFolio, Jim validated and created version 1.0 product requirements for GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting (acquired by Citrix). Jim is a frequent speaker on product management and the process of discovering successful business models. He contributes at www.productplan.com/blog. Follow Jim on Twitter at @JimSemick.

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With so many new analytics tools available, it’s common to have a firehose of data and metrics available soon after your product launches. But the real challenge is determining which few metrics to focus on, and the sooner the better.

By defining the right metrics early in the validation and development cycle, well before your product reaches customers, you can get better insight to guide your product decisions and your roadmap.

To set the right metrics and product goals early, you’ll need to think like a scientist. Scientists first describe their hypothesis, define a test and then measure. Product management can do the same by setting goals and then setting metrics for those goals. This scientific mindset is one of the best ways to guide new products to success.

For example, you may decide that a conversion metric, such as the percentage of trial customers who convert to paying customers, is important to measure. Even without solid customer data, you can create a hypothesis about what you think you will see and an ideal target. This will lead to incredibly valuable team conversations about the business model and—once the customer data begins arriving—the ability to spot challenges early.

Got a new product? Learn more about how to identify the right metrics to measure success when you read the full article.

Author

  • Jim Semick is co-founder of ProductPlan, a leading provider of cloud-based roadmap software for product and marketing teams. For more than 15 years he has helped launch new products now generating hundreds of millions in revenue. He was part of the founding team at AppFolio, a vertical SaaS company. Prior to AppFolio, Jim validated and created version 1.0 product requirements for GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting (acquired by Citrix). Jim is a frequent speaker on product management and the process of discovering successful business models. He contributes at www.productplan.com/blog. Follow Jim on Twitter at @JimSemick.

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