Enterprise vs Startups: Established Products vs Greenfields Products

Knowledge / Inspiration

Enterprise vs Startups: Established Products vs Greenfields Products

UXDX Europe 2020

With an established product you have users who need and rely on the product and are less open to change. There's also the risk of canabilising your product. What are the tips for managing established products? How does a mature product advance? This session will talk through the speakers experience on these projects, and how each can learn from the other.

Rory Madden: We've all seen your talks. I hope everybody has seen your talks. But what I want to do is a very quick introduction, but in the context of your introduction, can you explain whether you're coming more from a start of Greenfields environment or more from an established enterprise environment? So, I'll start with yourself. Audrey, please.
Audrey Tsang: So, I'm Audrey Tsang. I'm the chief product officer at CLUE. CLUE is a, we've been around for 10 years. We've got about 12 million monthly active users or a B to C female health app based in Berlin. So, it's not exactly Greenfields. We've definitely got users that love our features or hate them. But, yeah, it's not enterprise.
Rory Madden: Great. Jenn.
Jenn Dearth: Yup, great. Hi, I'm Jenn Dearth. I worked in an Enterprise, so Workday has over 12,000 employees just reported a billion-dollar quarter about 42 million active users. And I've put within that, I work within productivity suite, which is kind of an entrepreneurship within a larger Workday. So, in an enterprise, but I would say we have more of a startup environment inside of the enterprise.
Rory Madden: Great. And over to yourself, Pearl.
Parul Goel: Hello everyone. My name is Parul Goel and I head product for channel partners at PayPal. So, similar to Jenn, also an enterprise, a large company. Not only that, I also built products for enterprise. But I like to think that it is a mini startup where we build up products from scratch and take them to market.
Rory Madden: Great. And finally, Benoit.
Benoit Terpereau: Hey guys, I'm Benoit Terpereau. I'm VP Product at Deezer. So, Deezer is a worldwide music streaming service, and we have something like 14 million monthly active users. And so, it’s not a Greenfield, it's more, I (inaudible) ICT and an IPS product.
Rory Madden: Great. Excellent. Thank you for introducing yourselves. So, I'm going to jump right in with an established product. We always hear about the MVP build, measure, learn approach, but can you do that kind of an MVP approach? When you already have an established product with established users who have expectations for how things are going to work at work. I'll start with yourself, Benoit.
Benoit Terpereau: Yeah. I do think that you can do MVP, even if you have an established product and users. What strike me is the most we've MVP is finally at the end of the day, a lot of product managers actually don't really understand what an MVP is, and we have all our assumptions. So, we want to put more features because we love our product. They always say to them, okay, you want to add this feature, but are you sure that user want them. Why not, you don't deliver it. And you ask for people to you wait for people to ask for this feature. If they don't, then the feature was useless. If they do, then you will be able to deliver it later and do some user satisfaction.
Rory Madden: Great. Okay, thank you. So, it gets yeah, you can use that kind of approach. Parul, you just mentioned there that you're actually an enterprise delivering to enterprises. Do you still have that same kind of are people, do you have enough volume of customers to be asking the questions?
Parul Goel: Yeah, so I agree with Benoit. Usually, if you have an established product that our customer problems that drive innovation and to drive a change. In enterprise space, you know, we have more than 200 customers who have integrated with our product. Which compared to a B2C product, it's very small. Right? But for a B2B product is substantial. So, in this case, there are two things matter. One is how many of these customers are asking for the capability, and number two, it also is who are those customers. Because, let's be honest, if it's a large strategic partner, them asking for something carries more weight. So, those are the two things we take into account. But something else that's like the difference is we have to, if they are building without asking for something, ideally, we would build it in such a way that it wouldn't require them to be (inaudible). They wouldn't have to do anything to consume this new product. That's really the challenge in the B2B environment. How do you innovate the doubt impacting the existing integration, without breaking the existing integration?
Rory Madden: And how often are you successful? Because that is quite a difficult challenge. Like often companies and API is you do have breaking changes because what people are asking for. So, how successful are you in trying the goal of not doing breaking changes?
Parul Goel: It is tricky. I think it depends quite a bit on the nature of change. Because with an API, you can add stuff without breaking previous integrations. Right? But changing existing capabilities, that's hard. To what that means is we do a lot of validation, a lot of vetting upfront before we roll out an API. Because, once it's out there, to some extent it's that installed. A few years ago, we upgraded our API from V1 to V2 and to eat today, we have customers still on V1, right? Because it just goes hard to get customers to, to move up, to, to upgrade to a new capability. And it makes sense, right. They have different priorities. So, so really my advice would be if you have an API based product, just make sure that that's the right product. You want to roll out it because making changes is very tricky.
Rory Madden: Great. So, I'm just going to touch on what you said there around kind of the upfront validation before you start making those changes. I might go to yourself, Audrey. how do you go about it? Do you have any challenge? So, I guess in the B2C world, is it, is it different or is it easier, more challenging than the B to B world to get that feedback and validation before you start building something?
Audrey Tsang: And then it's easier or harder. It's probably just slightly different. I mean, our form, our feedback comes from our users. Usually, in the form of either they write in through support or app store reviews. We also do a lot of user research. And so, for instance, if we have a new product and we actually just shipped. The team will definitely call a minimum viable product or a minimum lovable product today around pregnancy. What we've done is actually gotten a lot of feedback, leading up to this process, from users and interviews, et cetera, before actually rolling it out as an experiment. And so, I’d say that feedback comes in lots of forms, either it can be qualitative or quantitative through surveys or we look at literally, how does the particular feature perform or we hear about it in support messages or reviews.
Rory Madden: And do you find it challenging getting that feedback? Do you get enough of it or are your customers willing to share or is it quite difficult? I guess maybe health could be a touchy subject.
Audrey Tsang: Yeah. It's a very touchy subject. I think one of the things that Clue, we care a lot about is actually respecting the privacy of your users. We understand, I understand that this is some of your most personal content. That personal data and personal content that we have. Surprisingly, our users are actually willing to share, they're willing to talk. Sometimes we even get a lot of health questions through support. We buy it and by no means, give health advice, it's our bodies. We do want to talk about it.
Rory Madden: Great. And Jenn, do you have, I guess it's the opposite. It's an enterprise environment and it's not something or am I wrong? Is it something that people want to talk to you about? Or is it just something that they want to forget about? And it's just in the background.
Jenn Dearth: So, for us, all of our new products, we actually run early adopter, fast follower programs. And so, we basically do a selection across Workdays, 3000 global customers, but we ask folks to apply. And then within that, we look for a diversity of high volume, high transactions, geography, industry size. Just to make sure that we're getting a really good mix whenever we run these programs. Because obviously everything on Workday, if you think about it, there really a mission critical, transactions happening. Right.? We don't want payroll to fall over if we're trying to build a new product that sends out emails. And so, there’s definitely a pretty rigorous, a fast follower, early adopter program that really leads before we become generally available. And so, whenever we select them, we also make it really very, very clear up front to say, like, we're expecting you all to run through these used cases and we're expecting you to spend at least four hours a week or a month. And then we're going to be, we basically do a lot. I know that was listening to Jeff Patton's conversation right before this. But we do very very, very similar practices where we always have engineers in the meetings. And all of that. At least one in every feedback session and we would basically release, and then we ask them to just hop on a call and do feedback with us, so.
Rory Madden: And with that platform or that program. Sorry. That sounds really interesting. Do you have to incentivize people? Are they jumping to join? How to get people in?
Jenn Dearth: Yeah. I think we're super lucky because we're talking to folks who, they understand that what we're trying to do is make their lives better. Right. And if, for any reason if we're trying to do, they want to have input and they want to have say in how the product gets developed. And so, the incentive is, are you going to make my life better? Are you going to save me time? Then, yes. I want to like give you feedback. I want to have a voice at the table. So, we usually have the opposite problem where it's hard to say no. To say, hey, we can't actually handle more than X number of customers, but we'll include you next time.
Rory Madden: Great. No, that's a good problem to have. Benoit, your backgrounds. So, you're currently with Deezer, but you have a large kind of B2B or a lot of B2B experience as well. Have you ever struggled with trying to get that feedback from customers?
Benoit Terpereau: Not really. To me, the many (inaudible) is when you work on B2B and especially in enterprise software. What I did, basically, you can have 10 customers on the phone and you have your run mad because you don't have that many customers and they are really vocal and they know what they want. So, I mean, you can do that. It's really straightforward product management's interesting. What is more different with these are, it's a bit like Audrey. You don't have a trouble to get a user feedback, but you can be overwhelmed by them. So, I see a lot of my product managers. If you're not talking to one user per day, you're not doing your job well. But the issue with that is sometimes, once the user after (inaudible) line and for product manager. It can be really crazy, because he works crazy feature and stuff like that. And to me, where, I mean, use it with your customers in B2B and you have your roadmap done, and then you have a slow pace of execution. Usually when you do software, you have a one-year roadmap. It sits up when you're doing B2C. The many fronts is like, if one person on even 10 give you some feedback, you cannot make it a reality because probably it's only those 10 person that wants something out of 14 million. So, this is where user research help. I mean, you have insights when you talk with users as a product manager and then you pair with user research to try to get the truth. And the truth is probably more something statistical. So, I mean, do we have a majority of user that will likes this feature or not? And it really helps to find the truth wherever it's possible. I don't know if it is.
Rory Madden: And then, so how do you, I guess that's a great point. As a startup, you're almost just my first customer. I'm just going to really hone in on what they're asking for. My first five, 10 customers, and really build a solution for them. But now when you're at scale, how do you avoid going in a hundred or a thousand different directions? Because you have so many different users in so many different needs. (inaudible)
Benoit Terpereau: It's really important with that said, because I think a bit like Audrey. We have a lot of community and we have (inaudible) on the app stores and stuff like that. But you have to be careful to not listen only to vocal users. And we have really poor users that, how read demanding on our communities. And for example, on Reddit on Twitter. And you cannot always say yes, because those guys are poor users and it won't make the difference. I mean, it's maybe one or 2% of your user base and you cannot do that. So, I like to work on the tools like priority metrics based on impact and making sure that when we want to deliver something. It's going to fit the best mental idea for users, or at least he will have an impact on our numbers. So, the, the new users or the gentle city of usage or something like that. But we cannot just only say yes to the poor user or sometime we do it because again, because they are vocal. It can be a good publicity for us, but we are really careful with that.
Rory Madden: Great. Actually, I'm going to ask Parul the same thing there, because I guess it's a different ends of the scale. There a hundred million plus 140 million. I can't remember the exact number, sorry, versus the 200 customers. So, are you still very much in the listening to individual customers and how do you, it's still a challenge? You don't want to divide your product in lots of different ways. So, how do you manage that?
Parul Goel: Yeah. So, Rory, that's definitely a challenge, especially when your customers are large platforms like Facebook and Etsy and likes of them. Yeah. They usually do have custom needs. So, what I have found through this journey is you have to have a new ability over time, but you have to build an identity for your product. Who do you want to be? Do you want to be somebody who provides custom solutions, provide right-left solutions? Because then your product is going to look very different from a product that has self-service onboarding that you have this set of capabilities and that's what you do. So, I think this is something that we had to work on over time. To realize that, although we said, we will do a self-service platform that anybody, a generic platform. Over time, the reality of the segment we stern is that that's not going to be completely automated. We are always going to have large strategic partners that would require something custom. Right? And for the sake of business enablement, we have to be open to that. We have to have some capacity to serve for opening those doors. But at the same time, we also need volume. So, we do have two tracks, one is custom, and one is self-service that our smaller customers are able to utilize what we have by just taking care of themselves. But this is something that we have learned to do over time.
Rory Madden: And how do you balance it? Like, is it just experience and judgment or what do you use?
Parul Goel: Yeah, so this is where what Benoit was saying, that if making it a very objective data driven decision. Right? So, for example, the impact, obviously the revenue impact that we will get from it. The severity that the long-term relationship with the partner, a lot of things go into deciding which bucket partners or a costumer I would fall in.
Rory Madden: Great. Audrey, you were saying you've got a large audience base. You've got a lot of vocal support. Is there any risk or do you kind of look at who's not your customer or who customers you're losing? Because there could be a risk that if you're just listening to your customers are you limiting your marketplace?
Audrey Tsang: Well, I think this is about and both been on Parul, talked about this. It's like how or what goal are we focused on? And right now, we are focused on subscription revenue. And so, when we look at the prioritization of potential features like, do we do this or this? And obviously we all have limited resources. What we actually specifically looked at was what were unsubscribes saying, because we wanted to specifically look at their needs. And the reason that we actually launched pregnancy today was because that was one of our most common reasons for why people were unsubscribing from our premium features. They were potentially used include to conceive and then they got pregnant and then it was like, well, now what? So, this was really viewed as a retention feature. Amongst a couple of other things that helped us determine to focus on that. It wasn't actually just user impact. I'll bring it up here. It was also like, hey, what's the proper sequencing? Were there dependencies on other features or other technical dependencies? Or do we have something like, let's say (inaudible) that might prevent us from launching this as quickly. And so, we were looking at a basket of things, but fundamentally focus on how do we best grow revenue by delivering things that subscribers actually want.
Rory Madden: That's a great example. Actually, the all fording stuff them, figuring out why people are off boarding and solve for that. That's a great example. And I'm going to just touch on, because I mentioned it at the start, the customer's expectations. So, Jenn, I'll give this one to you. It’s around. So, with a product like Workday, people are expecting stability. They, don't want to log in every day and see things are different and changed. And they're running another experiment and it will be rolled back tomorrow. So, how do you manage those kinds of customer expectations and still enable you to do the experimentation that you need?
Jenn Dearth: That's a great one, Rory. Yeah. I think that for us, our products are actually, I think that there are when I first started at Workday, I was pretty surprised. Because Workday releases by annually. And again, to your point, there's like over 40 product areas. So, people don't want to be surprised. They actually asked at Workday to start releasing less frequently. However, our organization actually within productivity tools, there's also a productivity suite. So, our tool is actually still released every week. And we're able to do that because our products are very, very close to our user base. It is actually less. We're able to segment and I think the idea behind there, is people who are opting into. Think through and use our productivity tools. They sort of think of they already in their mental model and because of how things have been marketed and designed and positioned. They'd understand that these are the tools that you use as an augmentation and something that gives you a superpower is when it comes to using normal Workday. And so, these are productivity tools that are that sit on top of the rest of the Workday.
Rory Madden: Okay. Great. Does anybody else have a way that they manage that conflict that they want to share? Any experience that the fact that your customers might not be so willing in certain environments to do those experiments and see things change?
I'm sorry, go ahead.
Benoit Terpereau: No, but just in B2C, it's something that is free as usual. So, two things. First of all, you try to do experiments mostly on new users. So, they don't really understand what's going on with your product. And so, meantime you do it with your regular product, but in this case, indeed, you involve your power users and you want them that it's kind of a reward. That they are testing a new feature. It's kind of a reward because they are really faithful to us and you can do it that way. It's a bit hard to manage if the experiment doesn't work. And so, you have to decommission your experiment. But it's part of the game. And I think for poor users of digital products, especially in subscription model, people are kind of used to it.
Rory Madden: Great. I'm going to come back to the core premise here. The Enterprise versus Startups. So, in startups, they move fast, break things, just get it working. The runway is short. You need it to get there before you run out of funding. In enterprise, it's kind of the stereotypical bureaucracy. So, how do you try to overcome those challenges with bureaucracy, so that you can keep the pace of change and innovation still strong? So, I'll start with Benoit.
Benoit Terpereau: I mean by nature. These are digital products, so we are going pretty fast and we have bureaucracy, but it's not our issue. I did a lot of enterprise software though. And was more complex, especially because you have a lot of contractual obligation. And your customers don't want to see features go and you have to maintain a lot of version of your product. It's much more complicated. One tip that I did in the past, is to put customer around the table and making sure that they talk with each other. And so, when they all want something, you try to have this minimum that can make everyone happy around the table. So, they can have it faster. So, basically you start a meeting with various customer, and you say, I want to develop this feature. What do you want? And they will all say I want feature A, feature B, feature C. And you say, if you want all of that, you will have everything in one or two years. So, do you want to sit down and find him the MVP on your own lovable products for this feature? And then let's start talking and if you can promise something in three to six months, then they'll agree. So, five-year-old crusty or this kind of thing. We've pairing with your customers. Just the single voice of truth, actually, about delivery and our complexities.
Rory Madden: That's a great example. I haven't actually thought about it as from the customer side of things, but it makes a lot of sense. Is there anybody, maybe Parul or Jenn in the bigger (inaudible) ? So, Jenn, from an organizational perspective, is there bureaucracy within the organization that you need to jump through?
Jenn Dearth: Yeah. I actually watched Hendrix talk yesterday. And I thought when he said one plus one plus one equals ten. It actually is really true. Right? So, sometimes we think of large enterprises as slow moving. Bureaucracy almost even has like a negative connotation to it. But I think the real power, like every feature has a positive and a negative. Right? And even though bureaucracy sounds like a negative, the positive is you have leveraged impact. And I think what you can take from a startup world and apply it into enterprise is that, you're still making those connections. So, instead of a startup going out and saying like, who I want to partner with? What market should I enter into? In an enterprise, you are looking internally. You're saying like, oh, which app teams should I be partnering with? You still have to think of it. System thinking still applies. Still thinking through, which connections should I be making? But you're networking internally as supposed to externally. And so, I would say that. Yeah, just keeping in mind that being an enterprise has its positives as well.
Parul Goel: Yeah. And if I can add to that to what Jenn is saying. Like, we are a payments company. So, if we roll out a change, it is super important that it works. It's compliant. So, I think this is where bureaucracy actually helps us. It helps us make sure that we are on the right path and there are ways to cut out the unnecessary bureaucracy. Right? By empowering the teams, by making it about the customer, by making sure the leadership is aligned before you go into more detailed discussions. So, those are skills we have honed over time. But I also do agree that given in payments, I do feel like there are a lot of upsides of having these large workflows force behind you to support you.
Audrey Tsang: I actually love this. Like reframing of bureaucracy. It's not something that's set up. And I miss being in a startup, it's like fun. We get to like, yeah, move fast and break things. I would actually say that there's definitely a downside to moving too fast and breaking things, because it can feel like whiplash. And you may not, with an MVP, you may not invest long enough to actually see, oh, is this really going to work or not? Because, it was so minimal that you might just ship it and then like go onto something else. And bureaucracy, or at least like either like leveraged resources or more feedback or more focus on work, commitment to something can actually help really refine a product through its process.
Rory Madden: Great. I know. Where do you, because you said at the start that you're past the startup phase, but you're not an enterprise? You're in the middle. What is the culture like in Clue? How would you describe it?
Audrey Tsang: So, I mean, I think we're definitely a startup. We're just not like struggling for product market feats. So, depending on your definition, we're definitely still straight up. We're about 70 people. And if I were to describe the culture, I think the thing that just stands out is that people are just truly passionate about our purpose. Which is to make female health more accessible and clearer, and so supporting women and people with cycles to make the decisions in health that they need to make. And so, everybody is just very focused on that mission and that purpose. And that really makes this culture unique. But it also means that there's lots of passionate ideas and passionate thoughts and wanting to go in a lot of different directions. So, bringing that all together is definitely one of the challenges, but also one of the joys I'd say.
Rory Madden: Great. I think we're just about at a time. But I'm going to ask everybody here. This is the last few minutes of UXDX 2020. 2020 has been a weird year. Not going to lie. It’s a bit strange. We're all not sitting together. Like we, I would have hoped that we could have. But do you have a message that you just want to leave with positivity and inspiring to finish off the day? So, I'll just go across my screen. So, Audrey, you're the first one.
Audrey Tsang: And lean into those challenges. Lean into the weirdness of 2020. We had to do a lot of things differently and we've learned a lot from it. So, silver lining is it. Forced us to do stuff differently. And that was probably a good thing.
Rory Madden: Great, Jenn?
Jenn Dearth: Yeah. I'd say I have three thoughts around what to be optimistic about. The first is really around innovation. So, I feel like there's been a lot of really interesting things popping up. I don't know if you all have heard of lunch club AI. But this idea of using machine learning to pair people to have a coffee. And so, as a result of these constraints, I feel like I've seen a lot of innovation. The second thing is just how companies are responding. I think that there's been an outpouring and I love the, I think it was like the first panel that happened, that kicked off UXDX. Where you see these leaders of large corporations, like LinkedIn and Shopify, just saying like how they're supporting their employees and their people. And it's just really powerful to see that like people are, that corporations really have the stewardship and they're really thinking about social responsibility differently. And the third one is just the shift in how we work. I think that, I have two young kids at home and we're able to like cram things in and the fact that like people are opening their eyes on how work can still be done and very productive. Even if it's a little bit different than traditional ways. So, the shift is getting us to think more creatively, more broadly about what can be possible. So, those are three points.
Rory Madden: Yeah. Excellent. So, Parul?
Parul Goel: I have two kind of similar to, Jenn. What is innovation? Because it's usually constraints that force us to think differently and specifically looking for innovation and travel. Right? Because that's an industry. That's been severely impacted by a pandemic. And I'm sure there's going to be a big comeback and it's going to look very different. So, that's something I'm looking forward to. And so, nothing else that pandemic showed us was, we can work from anywhere. We don't really have to be in office. And as a product manager, I always assumed I have to be in the office and now I see like, oh, I could live in Bali and still be a product manager. So, that's what I'm looking forward to living in Bali and still being a product manager.
Rory Madden: Excellent. Yeah. I'd love to join you there. And we're currently getting winter. Winter is definitely approaching.
Benoit Terpereau: Let's do UXDX in Bali next year.
Rory Madden: As you say we are doing UXDX, APAC in March. But Benoit, what message do you have?
Benoit Terpereau: Yeah, I think it's going to sound pretty much the same. I think we all need to embrace the challenges that we face at least in two areas, from my perspective. From a business standpoint or startup standpoint. So, there is so much new opportunities that open. I mean, the digital is booming. The online retail is booming. So, you can now sell pretty much everything and provide any kind of services. The companies need online services and new online every day to boost collaboration. So, it's just in terms of business in the digital world. It's just, I don't know if a goldmine is the right word, but it's still good opportunities. And from a personal standpoint, I mean, you can imagine new way to work, to be much more efficient. Look at how many meetings we're doing by zoom. And because we have the zoom fatigue, which I think a lot of us just realize that meeting are actually like a vampire and suck blood. And actually, you need to work better, more in a synchronous way. And at the end of the day, work won't be the same after. And I owe for good.
Rory Madden: Excellent. So, yeah. I just thought that'd be a nice way to end UXDX 2020, a bit of positivity focusing out there. From my personal perspective I've said it earlier on when I was talking to Jeff Gothelf. My daughter was born in April and had I been going out to work every day. I would have just left in the morning, come back in the evening. I'm not seeing her. And I've really enjoyed watching her discover new things as she's growing. So, that's my positivity for 2020. So, thank you to everybody. Thank you, Audrey, Jenn, Parul, and Benoit. I really appreciated your insights. And we'll just hand back now to John. Who's going to wrap up the day and then I'll do it.