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How to develop product strategy

This is a cross-post of my answer to a question on Quora:

My answer:

When developing product strategy, I would start broadly to understand the landscape and ecosystem, and then dive down deeper with a series of questions.  If you start with this data, you’ll have lots of ammunition to start brainstorming and eliminating ideas in an informed way.

The best strategy I’ve seen has been informed in some way by the answers to the following questions:

  • What is our current market share?
  • User behavior- what technologies are users using to  consume our product, where is this trending?
  • Who are the players in the space- who are our indirect and direct competitors?
  • What is our direct competitors’ market share, and what is their growth year over year?
  • What is happening in the landscape – how big is the market, and how fast is it growing?
  • What is our market share, and how are we growing relative to the market?
  • What are our competitors doing, broadly, that’s coordinating with their growth?
  • Who are the new players to watch, and what are they doing that could give them an advantage?
  • What can we learn from our competitors?
  • What are broader industry trends— things that are possibly cutting into margins, increasing user acquisition costs—that could  affect us?  What are the implications, trends, opportunities and threats there?
  • What opportunities do we  need to double click on to think about?
  • What are some ideas – first based on our current capabilities and market opportunities- we know how to get into?  What are some ideas that we don’t know how to do—because we don’t have the resources to do it?  If the idea is compelling, what can we do to get those resources?
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