Companies increasingly say they want to obsess over the customer outcome, but what does that really mean at a product development level?

This morning in San Francisco in a preliminary event for BoxWorks, Which-50 attended a panel discussion featuring the product leaders of four leading collaboration platform vendors; Jeetu Patel the chief product officer of box, Jonathan Rende, the SVP of product at PagerDuty, Nitasha Walia the group product manager at Zoom, and Ilan Frank the Head of enterprise product at Slack.

Here are ten observations these product leaders made that help us understand how they think about product development, and about getting the best outcome for users;

  • “The ecosystem is the product.”
  • “Build the same product that serves a company with three users or 400,000 users. If you only listen to the largest customer with the loudest voice you won’t build the best product.”
  • The true driver of growth is retention. If you can retain the user – not just customer – eventually you will be able to drive growth. Retention drives growth. It’s a core concept.”
  • “Balance the needs of the buyer from the user. When you over-index on the buyer and not the user you build a product that’s ultimately bad for the user.”
  • “Make painkillers not vitamins.”
  • “The only way to scale to tens of millions of users is word of mouth.”
  • “The most insecure system in the world is one that is hard to use because people will work around it.”
  • “Take a problem list, not a feature list from the customer.”
  • “You need a founder who is obsessed with customer experience, you can’t build that culture without it.”
  • “Build a horizontal product for the masses and keep it incredibly simple.”

Boxworks kicks off in San Francisco tomorrow. Which-50 is attending the event as a guest of box.

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