Hackernoon logoWhat was the Product Masterclass by Product School all about? by@kishv

What was the Product Masterclass by Product School all about?

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@kishvKishore V

Life long student of technology. Heads pre-sales & Product Management at an IOT Startup for a living

One of the things, I had decided, was that during the lockdown I would sharpen my skills around Product Management. For this, I have been religiously attending many webinars and doing some online courses. One of the courses that hit the chord was this course

Product Masterclass: How to Build Digital Products by Product School

It was basically a culmination of lectures by different product managers and leaders covering different aspects of Digital Product Management. I m listing down some of the key ones I loved along with a summary on what was covered:

  • Product Management Vs Product Marketing
  • Basics of Product Branding
  • Prioritising as a product manager
  • Cognitive and other biases

Product Management Vs Product Marketing

Instructor — Maureen Keating

The session was primarily differentiating how different the roles of product manager and product marketing is and how these roles also work together to ensure the product is rolled out successfully. Though the product marketer & product manager collaborate during the product lifecycle, they also have clear set of responsibilities & KPIs to adhere to

Basics of Product Branding

Instructor — Gibson Biddle

Personally, I loved this session. Gibson brings in a very unique style of instruction along with his experience of working with Netflix to drive the fundamentals of product branding. He emphasises on why branding is important as it helps a product to become part of the collective consciousness of its patrons that it becomes very difficult to copy.

He relates branding to his initial experience of why he had failed as a product manager and how he had learnt from that experience to build a very compelling narrative around branding for products.

A brand is the story that builds a trusted relationship between customer & the product

- Gibson Biddle

So one of the key aspects of product branding which Gibson had explained was “Positioning Model” with Netflix as an example

The second aspect of product branding was “Brand Pyramid” similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This was narrated with Apple & Netflix as an example. I have provided the Apple’s example below

Prioritising as a Product Manager

Instructor — Ketan Nayak

This session from Ketan was as practical as it can get from typical challenges a product manager would face.

  • Don’t just simply prioritise features → Learn what features are right fit for your customer, by observing user behaviour, hypothesising it and learning from it
  • Don’t just prioritise customer wants → Look at your team’s needs, don’t let them burn out, help reduce technical debt . A happy and a content team will deliver better than a discontent team which delivers due false commitments to the customer
  • Don’t just follow a rigorous ROI Matrix → Work on things that are obvious instead of following a rigorous schedule for delivering requirements
  • Don’t just improve the product → Improving the product without improving the process around the product will not be of any help. By process it is the documentation, customer support etc.

Cognitive & other biases

Instructors — Ken Sandy & Clémence Tiradon

These were two different sessions done by two different instructors, I m putting them under one category as there are lot of commonalities. This is something which I guess most of us in product management are guilty of :)

Authority Bias → Someone who is at an authority of power influencing the features, or product priority and decision.

One of the ways of overcoming this is by putting the data before the stakeholder while refuting or non-confirming to his direction. This will help in taking a right decision based on the data in hand. I had done a small post on the subtle of saying “no” to folks who come from the position of power.

Survivor Bias → Concentrating on feedback only from existing customers or situations where they are over-represented in the data that is collected from customers, which results in inaccurate product usage / feature analytics

One of the ways of overcoming it is by calibrating our feedback mechanism to include, customers who have moved on or customers who are not really using the full features of the product. This will help in improving the product features and the product journey and experience in general

Affinity Bias →Tendency to get along with others who are like us. This doesn’t allow to build a product that is revolutionary in true sense

Engage with not just people who are part of your circle, but move beyond the network. This will help build a more resilient product with better user adoption and can help leverage the network effect

So these are some of the learnings I had from the session with Product School. Hope you enjoyed the brief summary of what I had understood from the session. If you like this, suggest you should also go ahead and do it.


Happy reading and Happy learning!!

This was previously published on Medium



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