Back to resources

Reinvent a Product From Scratch

Product Team
Product
Sharing The Vision

24 September, 2021

Dan Lev Almagor
Dan Lev Almagor

Head of Product at Chario

Dan Lev Almagor, Head of Product at Chario, shares tips behind reinventing a product and how the nature of a product is fundamentally changing.

Problem

What's more complicated than building a product? Reinventing one. Understanding the landscape from a new perspective is not as easy as one thinks. I have a 4-person team, and I reach out to potential end-users for product discovery to understand the challenges, but putting something in front of people is intimidating. No matter how many years of experience one might have, whenever it's about releasing something new 一, not an improvement based on customer feedback 一 that's a lot of work. Although I enjoy doing it, it's scary.

Actions taken

To get me out of such intimidation, I would do good market research to see the competitive landscape. I looked at the features, what they were putting forward in terms of their advantages, and their pain points, and if I was aligned with all of that. In my personal feeling, I wanted to be as good as everyone else, and then, knowing that I could improve things or bring a different point of view, I would proceed.

I noticed that when you accumulate a backlog of a lot of data, they come up with a fresh, blank slate. It becomes much easier to create something on the basis of something that can be improved. Now that I am working on a totally new concept, I face some market research challenges. Whether it's educating myself on why they need a particular feature or transitioning from existing technology to new tools, it has always been like a puzzle. Nobody wants to log in to 5 different websites, programs, or tools.

Part of it is an advantage of working at a startup. We have the developers, and the CTO, so we could discuss what we can do before putting it up on a page. Besides, if you have the CEO, who's as visionary and passionate as you are, that would be an added advantage. Typically, there are two types of product leaders:

  • (i) Where they would lead the vision
  • (ii) The founder who needs help with the translation of the product into functional business products.

When you have a vision, dream, or idea, be confident to move forward with it. The feedback might be scary or demoralizing, but people don't see what you do. You have to put the MVP, and actual users, measure them, and work towards the next round. There will be some business objectives that might weigh you down or change a little bit, but showing the growth, user interests, and products makes PMs the integrator.

Lessons learned

  • Look for good people to work and collaborate with through complementary skills. Try to recruit people who are more intelligent than you so that you can confidently hand over the work to them.
  • Enjoy the process, and understand that every role and the new product has a new, fresh look. You'll have the confidence and be less scared of the unknown.
  • Put yourself in your juniors' shoes, and you'll know what or how they might be thinking about the same thing that you are. Answer their silly questions because that's how both of you can learn.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

The Importance of Culture and Values When Building Teams

26 May

Elwin Lau, Director of Software at Jana, advocates the importance of maintaining culture within a company when scaling teams.

Mission / Vision / Charter
Scaling Team
Building A Team
Company Culture
Collaboration
Onboarding
Sharing The Vision
Elwin Lau

Elwin Lau

Director of Software at JANA Corporation

The Art of Asking Why: Narrowing the Gap Between Customers and Users

24 May

Jord Sips, Senior Product Manager at Mews, shares his expertise on a common challenge for product managers – finding root causes and solutions.

Customers
Innovation / Experiment
Product
Personal Growth
Leadership
Stakeholders
Users
Jord Sips

Jord Sips

Senior Product Manager at Mews

Streamlining Product Processes After a Reorganization

16 May

Snehal Shaha, Lead Technical Program Manager at Momentive (fka SurveyMonkey), details her short-term technical strategy to unify processes among teams following an acquisition.

Acquisition / Integration
Product Team
Product
Building A Team
Leadership
Internal Communication
Collaboration
Reorganization
Strategy
Team Processes
Cross-Functional Collaboration
Snehal Shaha

Snehal Shaha

Senior EPM/TPM at Apple Inc.

Navigating Disagreements When It Comes to Priorities

9 May

Pavel Safarik, Head of Product at ROI Hunter, shares his insights on how to deal with disagreements about prioritization when building a product.

Innovation / Experiment
Product Team
Product
Dev Processes
Conflict Solving
Internal Communication
Collaboration
Convincing
Strategy
Prioritization
Pavel Safarik

Pavel Safarik

Head of Product at ROI Hunter

Here to Make a Recognizable Difference: How to Develop Teams

5 May

Eric Merritt, VP of Engineering at Whitepages.com, divulges on the many complexities of developing teams in management by solving problems according to their needs, and empowering teams.

Leadership
Impact
Sharing The Vision
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Eric Merritt

Eric Merritt

VP of Engineering at Whitepages.com

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.