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Brad Hoover "Differences between building a consumer vs. enterprise product"


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Brad Hoover "Differences between building a consumer vs. enterprise product"

  1. 1. Software Product Development Enterprise vs. Consumer Brad Hoover
  2. 2. Brad Hoover bio CEO Grammarly, Inc. Formerly 6+ years as investor with VC firm General Catalyst Partners, management consultant with McKinsey & Company, and just enough time dabbling as a coder to appreciate the difficulty! Board member MocoSpace; leading venture-backed mobile social gaming destination site.
  3. 3. About Grammarly Proud Sponsor of AgileBaseCamp Offices in SF and Kyiv. Currently hiring for a variety of positions in Kyiv. Consumer Saas business providing leading writing enhancement tool Industry-leading product with highly engaged users. Exceptional team with track record of success. Large scale with nearly 10M annual uniques and many paying users.
  4. 4. The essence of Product Development Identify need: why doesn’t it exist already? Initial product development: reduce risk (cost and time). Iterate product to go mainstream: improve product feature set to increase quality (sales, LTV) and scale (total available market).
  5. 5. Comparison: Enterprise vs. Consumer Serves enterprise customers, not individuals. Generally paid; enterprise procurement with seat license model; security and uptime critical. E.g., Office365 (MS), Salesforce, GoodData, etc. Serves individual users. Usually free or free offering; paid by individual credit cards, cell phones, e-money, etc. (if paid); security/uptime may be less critical. E.g., Google search, Facebook, Kayak, etc. Enterprise Consumer
  6. 6. Comparison: Identify Need Someone from the industry or function served, who understands all details of the market opportunity/need. Enterprise Consumer Need of the founder based on life experience, generally outside of work.
  7. 7. Comparison: Initial Product Dev Extensive upfront design and prototyping. In-person conversations and demos fine tune the product, often with customer input. Develop hypothesis to infer broad customer needs from in-person conversations, surveys, etc. Test the hypothesis on real users to find the local maximum (A/B testing; multivariate testing). Less upfront design and prototyping work for new features, infer customer input via tests. Enterprise Consumer
  8. 8. Comparison: Iterating Product to Go Mainstream Gain credibility with reference customers. Expand the feature set to provide enough appeal to broader market. Business development deals to reach large market. Sales force can overcome objections in person. Develop the best product in the market. Expand feature set to solve a broad need. Generate word-of-mouth/viral adoption. Enterprise Consumer
  9. 9. Summary: Enterprise Enterprise Good product with great marketing/sales may beat the reverse, as sales force can overcome the objections through conversations. Higher need for security & stability. Lends itself well to outsourcing model.
  10. 10. Summary: Consumer Consumer Requires truly exceptional product with very fluid funnel and interface to sell without speaking. High need for speedy iterations to test hypothesis (infer collective needs/preferences of user base). Benefits from entire product development team (product + engineering) in same location to facilitate rapid communication/iteration.
  11. 11. Shared guiding principals Focus on a clear, achievable goal; launch as little as possible to provide initial value. Create a flow environment so the team is “in the zone”: — Clear feedback on progress towards goals; — New skills/challenges; — Autonomy, especially around “how”. If total addressable market (TAM) is not large enough, go back to the drawing board to find a larger hill.
  12. 12. Consumerfication of enterprise apps Saas enables introduction of ”prosumer” enterprise products with similarities to consumer products and development process. These prosumer apps may have a superior user experience/workflow vs. strict enterprise alternatives, and are well positioned to take market share as a result. A trend to follow (e.g., Google Docs, Evernote, Grammarly).
  13. 13. If you have interest in working for Grammarly, go to and review… Engineering Manager Platform Engineer Computational Linguist Software Engineer Data Analyst Thank you