Product Café: Should your product roadmap be made public?
Product Management, UX, Startups, and more — freshly curated by Zeda.io.
Hello, all you product-loving folks!
Welcome to this week’s edition of Product Café, your weekend cup of coffee for everything product management, startups and more. ☕
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of companies on Linkedin and Twitter announce that they have made their product roadmap public.
But just like everyone else, it got me thinking– won’t competitors have access to this and steal your ideas? This is, of course, a disadvantage, but after preliminary research, it was clear that the benefits of having a public roadmap outweigh this one particular drawback.
“If competitors are looking to your roadmap for inspiration, that means they’re leaning on your customer base to tell them what to build—not their own. At the end of the day, this will hurt them, not you.” says Bri from Canny.
Here are 4 companies with public roadmaps and the benefits they reaped from this decision:
The code hosting platform for version control and collaboration made its product roadmap public in July 2020. This gave their customers better visibility on what was coming and helped clear many questions they had. It also enabled customers to share feedback which helped Github re-evaluate and make changes to its roadmap accordingly.
Github’s product roadmap: https://github.com/orgs/github/projects/4247
The popular messaging client used by companies around the world has also made their product roadmap public. With this, they’re building an ecosystem where their developers can succeed along with them, making their customers more delighted to use the app and attracting new customers to join as well. They’ve also released “Ideaboard”, a list of valuable ideas that could be built into Slack apps as per conversations they’ve had with customers.
Slack’s product roadmap: https://trello.com/b/ZnTQyumQ/slack-platform-roadmap
One of Buffer’s business values is transparency and they were able to take that to the next level by making their product roadmap public. Customers now felt more part of the Buffer community as they were able to share their feedback and comments on the product, and even tell the company if they were getting sidetracked. Buffer also goes on to say that they are completely okay with competitors having access to their roadmap because 1. They believe everyone has the opportunity to succeed and it’s not a zero-sum game and 2. This could inspire their competitors to build the same feature a little differently.
Buffer’s product roadmap: https://trello.com/b/PDIV7XW3/buffer-transparent-product-roadmap
The biggest benefit they reaped was customer feedback. For instance, Prodpad was planning to introduce a new single sign-on (SSO) feature but was unsure how to go about it. After receiving customer feedback, they learned that the Google apps SSO integration would have the most impact than other solutions they were considering.
Prodpad’s product roadmap: https://www.prodpad.com/about-us/our-roadmap/#roadmap
Recent faces that have joined the “public roadmap” squad
Some good reads for extra credit 📖
1. Front’s take on their public product roadmap
Front’s CEO, Mathilde Collin talks about what the company has learned after deciding to go public with its product roadmap and why they’ve never regretted this decision.
2. A collated list of reasons to make your product roadmap public
Dive deep to learn about 6 major reasons why you should consider making your product roadmap public.
What’s brewing on Zeda’s side? ☕
We at Zeda recently spoke to Tiziano Nessi, Senior Product Manager at Frontify, about his fascinating journey from the hospitality industry to product management, his new t-shirt venture with his friend, the product management culture in Switzerland and so much more!
That’s all folks! Have something you want to share? Put them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you soon.
See you again next week! 🥂
It’s hard to explain what a Product Manager does, we get it. But you know what’s not that hard? Sharing this newsletter with your friends and colleagues!