Product Growth Engine by Dave Martin

In this MTP Engage Manchester talk, Dave Martin, Chief Product Officer at TES Global provides us with a way to get over the product adoption curve and build more successful products.

His key points include:

  • Product adoption life cycle
  • Product growth chasm
  • The path up the adoption curve

Watch the video to see Dave’s talk in full. Or read on for an overview of his key points.

Product adoption life cycle

Everett Rogers was the first to come up with the concept of the adoption curve which relates to the launch of a new product.  It describes how ideas are adopted and accepted by groups and cultures. For successful products, the adoption curve includes innovators, early adopters, the early majority, the late majority and then the laggards. The launch and adoption phases tend to be cross-functional and cross-departmental. This means that there are more opportunities for things to get siloed across the business.

Product growth chasm

Many products suffer from an inability to turn early adopters into the early majority. This is known as the product growth chasm as they can’t become mainstream. Dave cites a statistic from the Harvard Business Review that states 19 out of 20 new products fail. Many products either go completely bust or are unable to cross this chasm. Expertise alone won’t solve this problem as products created by successful companies and entrepreneurs also fail. The reasoning is that user decisions are based on loss aversion rather than gain focused. As humans, we are biased towards change. To overcome this we need a framework that allows us to test and learn.

A path up the adoption curve

The product growth engine provides a framework for getting up the adoption curve. We need to align the organization around the concept of first use, then retention, and finally repeat use. Use a net promoter score to ensure customer quality. The metrics used to achieve growth shouldn’t be focused on the wrong thing. To avoid confusion and ensure growth, Dave suggests that marketers should be part of a cross-functional development squad and a task force that meets regularly to focus on if things are going properly.

The key takeaways from this talk are that there is a path up the adoption curve which can help more products be successful. As a product person, if you follow a framework that focuses on aligning the organization around the user and attaining repeat users then you can have a successful product.

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