A quick intro to product strategy

Let's align on some definitions.

A customer is an individual, organization or internal stakeholder who has unmet needs and is willing to allocate resources to solve them.

A product is a good or service that can address a subset of a customer’s needs to a greater degree than the total cost to the customer. The total cost is not just price, but also time, internal resourcing, and cognitive burden. A product is defined by this cohesive subset of customer needs.

A customer's needs are a function of:

  • Pain points
  • Realities (existing behaviors and workflows and jobs)

Product strategy is planning of product work to maximize the impact on customer needs. Good product strategy is transparent, unbiased, and ruthlessly dedicated to the customer.

Product-building principles

If we put these together, we can see certain principles for building product:

  1. We must be rooted in customer insights

    • Products serve customers
    • Customers don’t change frequently, it’s our understanding of them that does – so we must compound customer knowledge, not throw it out
  2. We must take lowest-resistance path to solving customer needs

    • Solve biggest pain points
    • Accommodate existing behaviors
    • Change as little as possible about existing workflows
    • Target profitability
  3. We must plan and build iteratively, continuously, incrementally

    • Uncertainty is very high, so must be experimental, not dogmatic

This comes together into one, beautiful cycle - the Product Loop. It's the iterative loop to address unmet customer needs:

  • Discover
  • Plan
  • Build


For more information about this approach, check out Gaussian's Product Loop and read Dan Olson's The Lean Product Playbook.

How Sapeum helps

If we look in more detail into the Discovery and Planning stages of the Product Loop, we see a few steps.


Sapeum helps with each one:

  1. Insights capture:
    • This is the Knowledge page
    • Use this to collate all your learnings about customers - from interviews to analytics
  2. Customer needs:
    • This is the Customer needs page
    • Use this to succinctly state the core needs that your product must solve
  3. Feature backlog:
    • This is the New features page
    • Use this to store and prioritize what features need to be built for maximum impact
  4. Roadmap:
    • This is the timeline view in New features page
    • Use this to share your roadmap visually with your team and stakeholders

Put it into practice

Enough theory - go to Getting started to put this into practice.

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