👋 Hey there. This is The Overview, a weekly roundup of noteworthy B2B SaaS stuff. You’ll find interesting thoughts, articles, and more from around the internet.
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In this post:
Multiplayer, platform for process SaaS
This snippet from Why Figma Wins really showcases the opportunity that most SaaS businesses just don’t grasp.
Like in positioning, they’ll focus on building product around the narrow problems they think they’re solving: responding to customer support tickets, logging a sales call, or pushing pixels around a canvas to make a banner.
But actually, that’s just a small part of the job-to-be-done – and an even smaller part of what your customer is hoping to accomplish.
If you were building for everyone involved in the broader process, you would see more usage, higher willingness to pay, and become a sticky, core system of use. And it doesn’t have to be hard – the features are already available through open source libraries or paid services, and common design patterns already exist.
- Add comments and mentions functionality
- Offer free ‘collaborator’ accounts to your higher-paying price plans
- Use presence indicators to show users looking at an object at the same time
- Offer an activity log to show who did what, and when
And then think about multiplayer as a growth lever: internal expansion, external collaboration, product-led growth. Huge opportunities.
Aside: I’d love to make Figma for Finance – multiplayer budgeting, transparent access to metrics and stats: helping employees, budget holders, and execs to better understand the business and plan for the future.
No ad budget? You need great ideas.
I think this is pretty self-explanatory and applicable to broader B2B marketing too.
Sometimes you can BS your way through a campaign (or positioning, or an entire quarter) and still get results because you had a big budget (or big sales team, or big brand) that got you through, just.
But to really have an impact and drive results with a lower budget, you need a strong concept. An idea, a gem that cuts through. In positioning, this is (and will probably always be!) being uncomfortably narrow about who your customer is. In product marketing, it’s communicating that positioning consistently, messaged in a creative and resonant way.
Makes you think though… what if you could do both? A great concept, AND a big budget? What if you could build a process to test assumptions and iterate towards success, scaling budget at the same time? It’s not hard… we just don’t do it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Here’s how you communicate a roadmap
Here’s a really simple way to kickstart a product roadmap the right way.
- Set up four columns on Trello or whatever tool you use – Now, Next, Near Future, Later.
- Start with Later: list all the initiatives you plan to do, with an ‘outcome’ led description and who it’s for
- Do the same for Near Future, and then add in the metrics (either your business metrics, or customer metrics) that will measure success
- Now do Next – and with others, generate a list of options: potential product opportunities to help achieve those metrics
- Then the Now column – do everything the same, and prioritize one option that will be worked on. To do this well, you’ll want to measure the size of the bet – that determines whether you can take the risk and commit to code straight away, or if you need more research to validate the prioritized option.
Then, you have a roadmap that’s focused on the customer and their intended outcomes, while offering flexibility and the right level of information at different stages.
From the archive: inertia is the enemy
This newsletter is all about momentum – but like everything, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Inertia is the enemy of momentum. There are two ways inertia sets in:
- Increased resistance: when people lose trust in the direction of travel because it doesn’t generate the results they are experiencing or expecting
- Lack of velocity: when people are confused about the direction they should be moving in
Check out the post to read my experience in a company beset by inertia, and my recommendations for moving past it.
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