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Jeff Allen has spent his career working in tech marketing, sales, and product management roles. He is currently the Senior Director of Product Marketing for Analytics at Adobe.

Prior to joining Adobe, he was VP of Marketing for AtTask, a hyper-growth SaaS project management company. Allen began his technology career in sales, where he was a top producer for eleven consecutive quarters. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University in Russian and Business.

When Allen isn’t working, he enjoys consumer electronics, off-roading and outdoor snow and water sports with his family.

You can follow him on Twitter: @jeffreyaallen

He will be live on August 23rd at 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which he will answer as many questions as possible

  • AA

    Aldin A

    over 2 years ago #

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for doing this AMA!

    1)There are a million things you could be working on growth at any one time. Can you talk about your process for
    figuring out the MOST important thing you have work on RIGHT for growth? How do you make and prioritize your growth road map?

    2)How do you think about retention and increasing retention? How do you think about engagement and increasing engagement?

    3)Can you talk about some of the challenges of scaling the business and how you've overcome them?

    4)What analytic tools does your marketing stack consist of? Why did you choose said tools?

    Thanks

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Hi Aldin:

      Wow – Great questions. A bit difficult to give you pithy answers, so forgive my long-windedness:

      Prioritization – Most people work in hierarchical organizations that have objectives that start with commitments between the board of directors and the CEO’s direct staff. Those exec’s in turn often “sign up” to deliver on the things needed to attain those objectives. For example, if an organization has a goal to “increase profitability by x%,” every organization will undertake some sort of cost-cutting exercise to improve their profitability. I try to watch those executive priorities as my top cues for prioritization. If something I might do ladders up to something the CEO cares about, it should get a lot of my attention. After that, look at what will deliver the most value to your bosses—inclusive not only of your manager, but his/her manager and their manager, etc., and even shareholders. Keep in mind that the top leadership is always going to be focused on growth, but you may not recognize their objectives as aligned to “growth.” My advice: if you aren’t the executive, a) ask for them to share their vision for an objective that does not appear to be growth-oriented; and b) follow the leader—working against each other is a sure formula for thwarting growth.

      Retention and Engagement – For most of our businesses, there is a pretty clear causal relationship between retention and engagement. I would add experience to a path to retention, i.e., experience > engagement > retention. Who has ever quit on a brand that nails it for them in every interaction? Nobody. Once that happens, you are much more likely to “engage.”

      Scaling the Business – Boy! There are lots of places you could go with that. I’ll share one idea. A few years ago, when I joined Adobe, I inherited a massive population of customers, and a massive recurring book of business (hundreds of thousands of users). We have tried to do two things with the business: 1) create a “staircase” of product offerings (and pricing) that allow customers to go from good to better, to best products; and 2) help shepherd your customers along a maturity curve that they can easily understand—as they mature, they should have incentive to buy their way up your staircase of products. For maturity, we developed a self-assessment tool to help customers understand where they are and set goals for where they want to go. You can see the assessment at: http://www.myanalyticsscore.com

      Analytics Stack – I run marketing for Adobe Analytics, so we use the Adobe stack. Adobe Analytics for web, mobile, social and video, plus our premium tools for attribution modeling, customer analytics and cool predictive analytics.

      4 Share
      • JA

        Jeff Allen

        over 2 years ago #

        @anujadhiya The questions we asked were all positioned as, "rate the degree to which this statement describes your organization." As we tested it, people took a lot l longer to make their decisions if we had radio buttons at intervals, or set answer choices, so the slider approach seemed to help people make a quantitative judgment about a qualitative question. If you notice, as you move the slider, the description of that range changes on the right side, (i.e., strongly disagree, somewhat disagree, etc.).

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        over 2 years ago #

        We love long-winded answers!

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        over 2 years ago #

        Interesting choice to have the assessment responses be sliders vs just picking from multiple choices. Was there a specific reason you can recall for that decision?

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    over 2 years ago #

    Hey Jeff! I see that you recently gave a talk in Japan at the Data Driven Forum. This past year, GrowthHackers held their first conference and had some actionable presentations and round tables on growth. (Check it out here: https://growthhackers.com/videos )

    For some inspiration moving forward, I'd love to hear what presentations or talks that you've seen (in person or online) that have been most useful for your career in marketing and analytics. If you have links, send them our way!

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Hi Logan! Yes, we had a great show in Tokyo a couple of weeks ago. One tip I shared on my Instagram that I already knew, but didn’t follow was this: humor doesn’t translate—even if the translators laugh during rehearsal and tell you to keep it in. (see: https://www.instagram.com/p/BIqbt3DBtLl/)

      To your question about inspirational speakers, I’m often inspired by great speakers, and I’ve been lucky enough to hear some great ones live thanks to my job. One of the most unique speakers I’ve heard live was Dilbert creator Scott Adams. There are probably three speakers who I try to emulate in my career, although saying that is like saying I try to model my basketball game after Michael Jordan—the similarities are only apparent in my imagination:

      Malcolm Gladwell – I first heard him live at a conference telling some of the Outliers anecdotes, and have enjoyed his insights and presentation style ever since. All three of his TED talks are classics, and there are lots of other Malcolm Gladwell videos out there. This one pulls from Outliers, which is my personal favorite of his books: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPCOMtJL6vA. I think a YouTube Gladwell binge is always in order.

      Dana Anderson – I heard her live at a conference of Marketers and I have never seen anybody capture the attention of an audience the way she did that morning. The talk she gave that morning isn’t anywhere out there, but this is a great talk that is inspirational and entertaining and will make every marketer want to quit their job and go work for her: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-JXqACUUfM

      Clayton Christensen – I love his style and his insights are major pillars in a lot of my everyday thinking. I’ve never heard him live, but this talk is a must watch for anyone in marketing or product development: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9nbTB33hbg

      The more you look at it, the more clear it becomes that in fact the entire keynoting game turns on your ability to develop a great story arc that can carry your message combined with the ability to tell your story in your own unique and interesting voice. These three are unbelievably skilled at doing that.

      3 Share
  • MM

    martín medina

    over 2 years ago #

    Jeff,

    Great to have you on here doing this AMA.

    How do you view the roles of growth and sales teams and how they collaborate especially at a SaaS company doing mainly B2B sales?

    What are some exciting trends you have seen in analytics? What has you most excited for the future of analytics?

    What is one of the best things about working at Adobe?

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Hi Martín:

      You asked a few questions here. Let me take them one at a time.

      Sales Teams – I’ve spent the bulk of the last 20 years working in various roles on B2B enterprise tech go-to-market teams. When SaaS first hit the scene, many portrayed it as a revolution that would greatly simplify the sales process because it promised to reduce or eliminate the need for due diligence and support by IT teams (because the on premises product footprint was eliminated) and because it allowed for shorter-term commitments by buyers because of the subscription model. Instead, what has happened, is the pre-sales IT due diligence work in many cases has increased, because of issues around usernames, passwords and PII living outside the four walls of the corporation and because of the vendor proliferation that makes it infinitely more complex to enforce corporate policies.

      As a result, enterprise software companies with a SaaS model need smarter, better-trained sales teams than ever before. Not only is the complex sale more complex, but also the need to show value is compressed. In the old days, we (software vendors) sold a license and collected the bulk of our money up front with a trickle of maintenance in out years. Today, there is no upfront bounty - we have to earn our customers’ business every billing period.

      Analytics Trends – I’m the most excited about the impact machine learning is having on the way organizations can analyze large data sets and prescribe very precise action. Today, an analyst with no formal training and just a few weeks of practice with a powerful tool can produce insights that just a few years ago required a Ph. D and years learning complex tools to gain. That democratization of data science is going to empower and embolden small, nimble players to out-play established firms who have historically enjoyed a massive advantage from their investments in analytics.

      The Best Part of Working at Adobe – If you spend any time at Adobe, you quickly notice that there is a strong culture of genuineness here. That is huge for me. Our CEO, Shantanu Narayen is a staunch defender of our corporate values, of which being Genuine is the first (followed by: Innovative, Exceptional and Involved). Because Shantanu lives the values and holds others accountable to do the same, they are more than just clever words HR puts on posters and hangs in the break room. When people are truly genuine, they don’t have to wrestle with the shackles of politics, which frees them up to be more innovative. That makes my job of portraying the areas we are exceptional in much easier. I love it when an under-funded development team out-plays a well-funded competitor, bringing a remarkable innovation to market. Hot products are what every Product Marketer wants, and Adobe has dozens of them. I believe that all begins and ends with the climate created by culture.

      • MM

        martín medina

        over 2 years ago #

        Thanks for your responses Jeff, very insightful. I especially liked your points about the democratization of data science.

  • BG

    Brandon Gains

    over 2 years ago #

    Hi Jeff,

    What does a work-week look like for your product marketing team?

    My goal was to create a team environment with an average of two-three weekly meetings + reactive feedback loops to empower autonomous decision-making so we can hit our ultimate departmental goal of increasing SQLs/Pipeline.

    So I align my team on a weekly meeting to review our SaaS Dashboard -> Traffic -> Leads -> MQLs -> SQLs/Pipeline. With each team member providing an overview of their campaigns/experiments based on the Objectives/Key Results method.

    Throughout the week we'll break out for campaign-level meetings that address key areas of the funnel and use reactive feedback loops to address key blockers + surface experiment ideas for the group.

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Hi Brandon:

      The best part of working in Product Marketing is that there is no such thing as a “typical week.” I define the purpose of a Product Marketer as “ensuring the market success of their product.” That means one day, they are working with the product development team on pricing, packaging, naming, messaging, etc. Another day, they are developing/delivering enablement to sales teams. They could be doing competitive analysis, analyst presentations, press interviews, thought leadership pitch, developing a customer success story, or an ROI model. At Adobe, we also look after the funnel from an investment standpoint (we own the demand gen budget, but the people dotted-line to us), as well as from an effectiveness standpoint. So it really depends upon the week.

      Let me know if that’s helpful, or if I can be more specific.

      • JA

        Jeff Allen

        over 2 years ago #

        @brandongains Sure. We think of Campaigns in two categories:

        Core campaigns that are in our plan from the beginning. These are funded at the beginning of the year and/or quarter, and get priority because they ladder up to major initiatives.

        Incremental campaigns and activities that are funded to correct a gap in the way we are trending. These are funded on a quarterly basis and are conceived to either plug a hole or capitalize on a new opportunity.

        From there, we have a team whose sole job is to manage campaigns and ensure they align with our objectives. They spend their days ensuring the core marketing team that consists of every function from PR to Social to Demand to Field, etc. is tracking on their commitments and that the overall business is on track. We meet with the entire team weekly, and have additional ad-hoc meetings as needed.

      • BG

        Brandon Gains

        over 2 years ago #

        Hi Jeff,

        Great points - I was looking more for how you prioritize your team's time.. What structure do you have in place to make sure they're working on the right campaigns, projects, etc.

  • RB

    Ry B

    over 2 years ago #

    Jeff,

    Great to have you here at GH!

    1)What is your process for figuring out what channels you should focus on for customer acquisition? How do you evaluate them? How do you come up with a plan of action to attack that marketing channel? Do you have a process for evaluating channels, if so could you share said process?

    2)How do you think about scaling traffic growth? What changes for how you use a channel from when you first identify it's viability,to using the traffic channel at scale? What question do you ask yourself to make sure that the channels stays viable as you scale it up? What are the pitfalls to avoid as you scale a channel? How do you overcome said pitfalls? Do you have a process for scaling channels, could you share said process?

    3)What are the most valuable lessons you've learned in your career?

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Hi Ry:

      Channels – Our process is pretty simple. Any channel that’s logical is in the mix. Then the vehicles in the channel compete against each other in our attribution model. It’s important to measure results one-step down (i.e., click-through to form completion / impression > result) a few hops down (i.e., inquiry to sales accepted lead) and to the ultimate goal (i.e., inquiry or MQL to closed). Simple metrics such as cost per dollar of pipe and cost per dollar of closed/won business are powerful indicators. BUT you also have to understand every channel in the context of the buyer journey. Too many marketers only factor acquisition channels in their attribution models. That’s a great way to get your events budget cut! I recommend challenging your team/org to constantly add channels to your attribution mix. Personal selling (i.e., a call from a warm rep) is often overlooked, but we all know that moves customers along their purchase journey.

      Scale – As you scale demand gen up, you eventually max out channels. I like to think of them as farm fields – you can only get so much corn off of an acre of dirt. You can certainly optimize the yield from a channel (just like you can the corn field), but eventually, you need more channels. Some channels are great for one stage of the journey/funnel (i.e., early-stage/pre-sales), but not as good for others (i.e., closing or upselling/cross-selling), so managing your messaging mix within channels is also critical. It’s critical to start to develop a PoV around how your customers make purchase decisions—especially in a model with a complex sale. The better you understand the steps and stages customers go through, and who influences those stages, the better you can orchestrate an optimal sales cycle.

      Lessons learned – Boy! That’s a tough one. So many people have taught me so much. Probably the most important lesson I’ve learned came from my Dad (who is also in sales/marketing). He always says, “never lose sight of your purpose.” People come into my office all the time asking for me to make a decision (or to help them make a decision). Decision-making gets a million times easier if you understand your purpose or goal. Are we here to get leads or are we here to sell products? Are we here to show videos or are we here to sell ads? If you understand your purpose, you’ll get it right a lot more.

      4 Share
  • SA

    Shaker A

    over 2 years ago #

    Hey Jeff,

    Awesome having you here

    1) Regarding benchmarking analytics, and you don't have a long product history to draw on for historical data, how do you figure out what to use as benchmarks. For example if someone is starting a new fashion ecommerce site how do they figure out what to use as benchmarks for things like retention, avg cart size, repeat purchase rate, etc. Where and how did you get the bench marking information to make sure that your core metrics were healthy compared to the industry and your competitors?

    2)Can you name some resource you use to learn from about growth (Other than GH)? Books, podcasts, blogs, courses etc?

    3)How do you retain your users, if your user only need to use your app occasionally by nature (ex shopping app)?
    If your app isn't used frequently building up the habit is hard, which makes it even harder to retain the user.
    How do you go about trying to stay top of mind so when the user has a need that your app solves they think of you?

    Looking forward to learning from you.

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Hi Shaker:

      Benchmarking – For most marketers, industry or category benchmarks are hard to find. I certainly don’t share mine with my competitors, and they rarely share theirs with me! So I would coach you to think about establishing a baseline and then beating your own records. Setting goals without any historical context are before you have a baseline can be problematic. You are often going to either be way too optimistic or way too pessimistic in your goals and then you are going to beat yourself up (or get beaten up by your boss), or you are going to celebrate prematurely and underperform against your potential. So I recommend taking some time to establish a baseline on key metrics like retention, cart size, abandon rate, repeat purchase, etc.

      Growth – Gosh, isn’t everything about growth? Anything that helps you get better should impact growth. Some of the most successful people I know maintain a hyper-focus on planning and goal setting. If you aren’t strong there, that’s where I would start. After that, I would say, just be constantly learning. Develop a model for how you approach the key things you do and constantly question it and try to improve it.

      Retention – I mentioned in my note to Aldin above that retention starts with experience. Go get that right first. Find ways to ask live people to describe their experience with your brand. Find out who hates your website and get them on the phone and find out why. Get them to meet you at a coffee shop and show you what they hate. Too many people in tech build experiences that they themselves never consume. That makes it impossible to improve. If you haven’t read the book Tuned In, I highly recommend it. It will teach you what it means to resonate with your customers. If you can do that, retention naturally fall out of what you are doing.

      4 Share
  • DH

    Dani Hart

    over 2 years ago #

    Hi Jeff,

    So awesome to have you here today!

    I've seen a big gap between product and marketing at some larger companies. How do you bridge that gap in your role at Adobe?

    Thanks,
    Dani

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Hi Dani:

      Great question. The key is to ensure there is overlap—never a gap. I assign PM (product management) and PMM (product marketing management) resources in pairs and recommend they become best friends. You can use a roles and responsibilities model (I like to base mine on the Pragmatic Marketing Framework best see: http://pragmaticmarketing.com/about-us/framework) to “horse trade” responsibilities between the two disciplines. Remember that just because one guy has one title and the other has the other, that doesn’t mean between the two of them he or she is more qualified to perform an activity. So I recommend making assignments at least on a team/product-line-by-team basis, if not on a pair-by-pair basis. I often build a slide with an adaptation of the framework at the link above that works the way we work and then get in a room and color code it by ownership, i.e., “PM” or “PMM.” Don’t hesitate to color code some both colors, making them joint owners, but then figure out how the duties are split up. We also send our teams to the Pragmatic Marketing courses to ensure everyone is on the same page, but much of what is taught is consistent with what books and universities teach.

      The key is to know everything that needs to be done and ensure it’s all assigned to somebody who knows how to do it. After that, it’s just execution and measurement.

      3 Share
  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    over 2 years ago #

    Bonjour Jeff,

    Where do you think the largest analytics gap lies in the current MarTech stack?
    Do you envision it will be solved in the future? How?

    Merci!

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Bonjour, Arsene! The largest gap is not in the tech stack, it’s in the way data is disseminated to folks who are making decisions. Too many marketers (and other folks who touch customers, such as customer care, sales and product development) operate in a data vacuum. The folks who have data are few and far between. This is happening for a number of reasons:

      1. The data is too hard to share – historically, the tools haven’t been built to deliver dynamic access to data, the paradigm has been a periodic email reporting process. Adobe is changing that by allowing analysts to create living “workspaces,” that can be shared out to data consumers and the data is always up-to-date.
      2. The data is too hard to consume – historically, “insights,” beyond canned data like page views, browser types, bounce rates, have been hard to glean, because the tools have been difficult to use, and the datasets were confusing. Again, Adobe is hyper-focused on building easy-to-use tools for “untrained” users to apply powerful statistical models and machine learning to data sets to identify anomalies, understand contributing factors and even recommend optimal corrective action.

      Net-net, we are hard at work trying to solve this. If you want to see Analysis Workspace, we have some non-salesy videos on the Adobe Analytics YouTube channel. I’d start with this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS3KVGtowwA

      4 Share
  • ES

    Edward Stephens

    over 2 years ago #

    Hi Jeff,

    Awesome to have you on really looking forward to your answers.

    Questions from me:

    1) How on earth did you manage to be the top producer for 11 quarters, i'd love to hear your steps for getting ahead in technology sales and staying on top. Any stack or routine you used?

    2) How do you communicate and market complex product packages to clients? Often good analytics packages have lots of features which are not immediately obvious.

    Look forward to hearing from you!

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Hi Edward:

      Top-Producer for 11 Quarters – To be fair, the team wasn’t huge and it wasn’t exactly full of Harvard MBAs. I was still in school, and was as green as they get. I was at a startup that didn’t know anything about marketing. The company thought explaining the components on the circuit board would impress people enough to pick our product over the competition. Since that didn’t seem to be working, I discovered that if I could tie the value of what our product did to a business outcome, my customers could find budget that otherwise wasn’t there. So every time the product got better, I would figure out what that meant in terms of dollars and cents to the customer and go sell them that.

      The great Theodore Leavitt said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”

      The other thing that kept me in the lead is that the company didn’t have a channel team yet, so I built myself a channel inside my territory. I signed up a bunch of resellers to sell my stuff. That leverage ensured I had orders to process even when I wasn’t directly “selling” anything.

      The Complex Sale – This is probably my favorite topic. One I’m going to write a book on. Hard to say a lot about it in this forum, but I have a model that involves precisely understanding who is involved in the sales cycle (hint: the complex sale involves a buying team—not just a buyer) and what they need to make their decisions. We map out everything we know about each buying role: title, purchase decision responsibilities, business requirements, hot buttons, probing questions, anxiety questions, how they understand the problems, how they would envision a solution to that problem, what value they would get from that solution both personally and organizationally, what competitive information they will encounter and how to respond, what the ROI model looks like, etc, etc, etc.

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    over 2 years ago #

    Hey Jeff - super to have you on!

    I'm always (pleasantly) surprised when I find folks doing great things that - at first blush - have nothing to do with their formal education.
    What frameworks, philosophies etc from your BA degree do you think you've applied/still apply through the course of your career?

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Hi Anuj:

      Thanks, but don’t read too much into my Russian degree. I had a head-start on my Russian degree, so I had enough time to do a full business major focused on marketing and threw in advertising, PR and video production, which were outside of the business school, but important to me as a marketing guy. Plus, I’m constantly trying to learn ways to improve my craft.

      Much of what I use today, I learned on the job, such as Pragmatic Marketing principles and other models I’ve learned from the great companies I’ve been able to work for. What my undergraduate work gave me was a foundation of continuous exploration, healthy skepticism and a belief that there are answers to your questions out there. It also just taught me a TON about how the world works.

  • JM

    Jason Meresman

    over 2 years ago #

    Hi Jeff - thanks for participating in today's AMA!

    What in you mind separates good product managers from truly great product managers? How would you recommend​ someone go about developing the skills to become truly great at it?

    Thanks,

    Jason

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Hi Jason:

      A few things:

      1) Passion. If you love what you’re working on, it shows and customers can see it.

      2) Focus. PMs are mini CEOs, and the ones who are focused on the right business outcomes build better businesses. If they aren’t focused on the market and what the market needs and will pay for (and continue to pay for), their products languish.

      3) Communication. PMs who can communicate get more resources, so they get more done and their product outshine others.

  • MG

    Michael Gencur

    over 2 years ago #

    I am in the early stages of product development of an idea that I have. I have done a thin of research on the "process". At this time I have begun collecting items to put together for an e-commerce website. What advice can you give me? Particularly in your field of expertise? Thanks in advance!

  • AK

    AVINASH KOUL

    over 2 years ago #

    Hi Jeff,
    Growth is a very vast term and many growth hackers work differently.
    I'd like to to understand what tools, languages, processes etc you think are "basic hygiene" to help set the foundation for 10x growth?

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Hi Avinash:

      My answer is going to sound a bit like “diet and exercise are great tools for staying healthy,” but I’ve never seen a silver bullet for real growth. I think the basic hygiene includes:

      - Planning
      - SMART Goals
      - Regular Measurement
      - Accountability
      - Thoughtful Analysis (to inform continuous improvement)

      Does that help?

      • AK

        AVINASH KOUL

        over 2 years ago #

        Thanks Jeff that surely do help , we do follow the basic process and planning and surely will go through your points in detail

  • GH

    Glen Harper

    over 2 years ago #

    Hi, thanks so much for being on the AMA.

    Can you talk about an experiment in a really big win or insight? Thanks!

  • JF

    Javier Feldman

    over 2 years ago #

    Hi Jeff!

    Thanks for being here today! Here's my question:

    What are the biggest challenges you've faced with pricing, especially increasing it?

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      Hi Javier:

      Pricing is riddled with challenges! The biggest challenge I’ve faced with increasing pricing is overcoming the culture of discounting. In our business, we have a long history of discounting, and customers are used to that. So if I raise a price and the sales team can’t sell the incremental value, they just discount it right back to where it was. The only way to overcome that is to revolutionize your product packaging while revolutionizing your pricing model. A leap like the cell phone companies have made from selling voice minutes to selling all-you-can eat plans that include devices, data, SMS, voice, etc. can take years and multiple model shifts to make.

  • AK

    AVINASH KOUL

    over 2 years ago #

    Hey Jeff , read your comments in the above questions
    According to you how you differentiate between experience and pmf
    Secondly any thoughts on shared economy , basic growth hacks need to develop a product for shared economy
    How much importance we need to give to regulation if that is hindering the product growth

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      pmf?

    • JA

      Jeff Allen

      over 2 years ago #

      The way I delineate between the two is I assume product-market fit is a data-driven perspective, while experience is a more opinion-driven perspective. I mentioned the book Tuned In in an earlier post. My favorite quote from that book is:

      “Your opinion, while interesting, is irrelevant.”

      To that end, wisdom, gut and intuition born of experience are very valuable, but should only rarely be used exclusive of hard data.

      Regulation can be a catalyst for growth or a detriment to it. Not knowing which regulation you are thinking of and what your product is, it’s difficult to say whether you can capitalize on the regulation, or whether you will be handicapped by it. Regulations like FIPS, GLBA, HIPAA, etc. are costly to comply with, but have been a boon for organizations that sell to those industries, because new tools were required to achieve compliance, which created new sources of revenue. Auditors have been able to stand up new practices to audit for compliance as well. So the goal should be to figure out how to get on the right side of a regulation.

      The next time you see a nice car in Washington DC, you’re likely looking at someone who is on the right side of a federal regulation.

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