Improved workflows make the best new features



This is part 2 of the series on some mystery product I've learned a few great lessons from recently


Product Management can be a tricky thing. How to prioritize and come up with what your product should add next. Improve current functionality, add new bells & whistles, add a totally new product vertical, or something else. Plus what users do you listen to (Spoiler: listen to your paid users only).


As mentioned in Part 1 of these series, I use a tool for post-production of the podcast I co-host. It was amazing and did the job of 4-5 tools I had been using. In this post, I'll skip the bugs that frustrated me. We'll focus on workflows being a great source of product features. So my podcast is normally 3 guests and includes video & audio. This tool perfectly syncs up the audio to the video. It also has a great feature to automatically remove filler words (and, uh, um, etc).


Yet this great feature creates a problem. It splits the clip when it cuts out the filler words. In an episode, I'd guesstimate there are a few hundred clips that make up the full episode. At the moment, the app has a single default video displayed for every clip; regardless of the speaker. So as you can imagine, changing the video displayed for let's say 50% of the clips is a real pain the ...


There are 2 solutions here that would save me up to 50% of post-production time. Feature 1 the ultimate win 🏆. The video automatically changes based on who is speaking. I mean, the app already knows who is speaking, the video associated with that user, and more. Can it be that hard to automatically change the video displayed when a different speaker begins talking? This would be a dream.


Option 2. An interim solution, in my opinion. Allow me to highlight a section of broken up clips and in one shot select the video to be displayed across all the selected clips. Let's say in 60 seconds of talking, it could have 10 clips. Though I'd manually have to highlight all 10 clips (drag n' select) and select a specific video, it would save me so much time.


If you're a founder thinking about the product roadmap and what features you should build, this is an easy and great place to start. Speak to your users (you should be doing this daily) for an early-stage company. For more mature companies, have voice of the customer session with members of your support, success, & sales teams. No one has a better thumb on the pulse than a support team. Understand how and why users are working with your product. Ask them what part of the job they do is happening within your tool. Ask them what other tools they use to do the complete job. Then ask how you save them time and simply their job. For our example, I use 1 tool to record the podcast sessions. I use the mystery tool to do the post-production. I then use a social media management tool to share the videograms. That's my entire flow.


Adding a feature that automatically changes the video per speaker would be game changing to me! It would take me from 8 stars to 10, or 10 to 12. That's a micro-workflow feature. Alternatively, why shouldn't I be able to record the sessions in this tool. Why not do all that work in one single place. This would be a macro-workflow feature. If you don't want to go this far in one jump, that's ok. Build towards it. Instead, think about integrating with podcast recording tools. Launch a feature that syncs the audio/video automatically from the recording tool to the production tool. It automatically tags the speakers and does some of that basic pre-editing work. In this case, it would save me the time of downloading 2-3GB of data and then uploading it again.


To quickly recap. When thinking about your product roadmap, you don't always need to launch brand new flashy features or new types of products. In many cases, that is best for bringing in new users. Yet, the data says it's 7x more expensive to recruit new users vs retain existing ones. Existing users are often made extremely happy by simply improving the product they are already loving. By saving them time, simplifying a workflow, or something similar. Doing this helps build a deeper dedication from your users to the product. They understand their experience will always get better and the job they do will only get easier. These users are also much more likely to recommend your product to friends/colleagues, and be very vocal about your product on social media and other forums.

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