As a founder of a growth-stage startup, you will face several important milestones in the development of your venture. As your startup grows, roles within your organization will continually evolve. And while many owners overlook the position of VP of Product or Chief Product Officer (CPO), now may be the right time to hire one.
Most entrepreneurs and startup founders tend to fall into the trap of bringing other responsibilities under the hat of their CEO role. More commonly, these include setting the strategy and acting in the product manager. But even if you’re good at this, it’s important to free up time to focus on other aspects of the business. A senior product leader can provide expertise, focus, and peace of mind to advance your product and product function forward in the next phase of your company.
A CPO can map out the road from a single product to a portfolio of products. This could include broadening your product portfolio by acquiring or merging with another company. A product manager has the experience and knowledge to create a strategy for expansion by selling your products in new channels and geographies. A unique product strategy needs to take into account different sales motions, and new tax implications for each market. If your company is ready for expansion, this means it is also ready for a Chief Product Officer.
As your startup grows, the financial impact and product execution tradeoffs become increasingly more complex. You need to balance critical business strategy and delivery tradeoffs for major product decisions. This could also include assessing tradeoffs for build/buy/partner product decisions. A CPO can help you assess these critical business and delivery tradeoffs by translating key product and technology decisions into language that you, your c-suite, and your board can understand.
It is important to balance investing in existing revenue and customer retention-focused features with features that will allow you to acquire more new customers and accelerate growth. Adopting new pricing and customer acquisition strategies normally are expected to drive growth. But it is the CPO’s role that can create this strategy and help between retention and acquisition feature investment is hard. They can make sure that your development team doesn’t develop a product that doesn’t resonate with your customers. An accountable translation between business strategy and execution will be critical to continue to drive growth.
Mind Katalyst works with clients to help define, build and grow meaningful and transformative software and hardware across emerging technology platforms including Augmented Reality, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, and IoT.
For more on how Mind Katalyst can help you scale your technology products, contact us for more details.
Carnellia Ajasin CEO of Mind Katalyst is passionate about inventing new technology products in the emerging technology space that is meaningful and relevant. She works with ambitious organizations and businesses on the strategic application of innovation, creativity, and emerging technologies to create competitive advantage, transformative impact, and growth in business and society.