Getting to know your customer’s pains is one of the biggest challenges of building enterprise software. Joining me to take a deep dive into this topic is my good friend and return guest, C. Todd Lombardo.
As the VP of Product & Experience at Openly, an insurance-tech startup, C. Todd is a seasoned product leader in the B2B space with a ton of experience leading in-house product teams to success. He has also written two of my favorite product books: Product Roadmaps Relaunched: How to Set Direction while Embracing Uncertainty, and, of course, his newest book, Product Research Rules: Nine Foundational Rules for Product Teams to Run Accurate Research that Delivers Actionable Insight.
In this episode, C. Todd and I discuss topics based on three of the nine product rules included in his newest book, Product Research Rules: 1) How to align your team/s on the right question/s to research 2) How to plan research in a B2B context & 3) Why it is essential to share your findings throughout the innovation process.
Episode Details: Product Research Rules with C. Todd Lombardo:
“Start with the problem first; Don’t start with the solution or the technology.” — C. Todd Lombardo
About C. Todd Lombardo:
Data nerd. Design geek. Product Fanatic. Product-guy who believes “product” is not the right fit for today's data-driven, experiential world. C. Todd focuses on building and mentoring teams in areas of user experience design, product management, and product strategy. Currently, he is the VP of Product & Experience at Openly, an insurance-tech startup.
In addition to leading in-house product teams to success, C. Todd has worked as a design and product strategy consultant for notable clients such as TripAdvisor, LogMeIn, Spotify, New York Times, BBVA, FedEx, Lowes, and Genentech. Additionally, he serves on the adjunct faculty at Madrid's IE Business School and Baltimore's Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where he teaches graduate-level courses in design, innovation, and data visualization.
Topics We Discuss in this Episode:
Todd’s career background and experience in various product roles
About his newest book, Product Research Rules: Nine Foundational Rules for Product Teams to Run Accurate Research that Delivers Actionable Insight
What you need to know to build a product that solves the problem(s) of your customers or users
How to conduct research to fully understand what the problem is that you’re trying to address with the product you are creating
What some of the key product rules are and how you can leverage them to drive you and your team forward
Key insights and examples on “Rule #3: Good insights start with a question.”
How to align your team as a leader so they can discover the right questions to ask and research (and get the executive team, management, and stakeholders on board too)
Examples of how to create solutions for problems your customers are actually having
Key insights and examples on “Rule #4: Plans make research work.”
How to access/communicate with your customers in a B2B environment
The critical role that the product leader plays in enabling their team to feel empowered
Key insights and examples on “Rule #8: Insights are best shared”
The importance of good user experience and a good product that fills a need and isn’t just a solution in search of a problem
Product Leader Tip of the Week:
When it comes to product research, you need to ask simple questions — then listen. The ability to ‘dig in’ and then know when to listen is crucial! Don’t wait to speak. Instead, listen to what somebody is saying and then respond.