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Session 8: Evaluating Products

Session 8 of the pi fellows programme covers various aspects of evaluating products from a venture investment perspective. Session was conducted by Shamik Sharma, Venture Partner @ pi Ventures and GM @ Cult Gear

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Session 8: Evaluating Products

  1. 1. Evaluating Product Shamik Sharma
  2. 2. Intro USA (1997-2012) Academic - Maryland CS, HP-Labs (dist. systems) - 20+ papers, 7 patents Entrepreneur - Confluent (security co, sold to Oracle) B2C Internet - Yahoo (marketplaces), RockYou (social games) Consumer H/W - Lytro camera. (light-field deep-tech). India (2012-2020) Myntra - CTO/CPO Angel - 12 investments ($10-25k) - 4 dead, 1 acq, 4 are ok, 2 are good, 1 over 10x Venture Studio - 8 projects ($50-200k) for 5-15% => 5 dead, 3 alive CureFit - Strategic initiatives
  3. 3. M.O. 1. Do Interrupt - pause after every 2-3 slides. 2. Chase the dependencies. Truth is complex. 3. Side-stories are good. “Know the truth, but tell the story”. 4. Shed all dogma ! How to be in Doubt + act with conviction
  4. 4. Evaluation Framework team, market, product, capital, timing,.. Evaluation Framework $$ The problem ● Long feedback cycles (Long vs short truths) ● Spiky inputs & spiky outcomes ● Hard yes vs Soft no decisions.
  5. 5. Internal conflict Believer Skeptic Judgement - Look for Spikes - Intuition (gut call)
  6. 6. What investors can control Deal-Flow Process Post-Investment Pre-Diligence - Market analysis - Product thesis - Founder criteria Diligence speed & quality - Founder-market - Product-Market - Distribution - Monetization Capital Co-investors Founder networks Employees Experts Is it a spike ? Can I help ?Input quality ?
  7. 7. Product evaluation Just one aspect. Looking for spikes Evaluate - Market - Product - GTM (Channel) - Biz model As a series of “Fits”
  8. 8. Balfour Framework https://brianbalfour.com/essays/product-market-fit-isnt-enough Product-1MarketFounder Distribution Channel Biz Model Do customers Love the product ? Is there a way to reach many such customers ? Arpu - Cac - Opex = CM > 0 ?Rpu x #Cust x Pen% > $100M ? Is it self- sustainable ? Can it reach meaningful scale ? Is there a real problem ? Why this team ?
  9. 9. Thesis : Everyone enjoys living in a beautiful space Reimagine your room Enjoy your space - Spacejoy
  10. 10. Founder Market Product Channel Model Interior Design Tech Skills US B2C Sales Content SEO SEM WoM PR / Mags E-comm Furniture Lead-gen Design Fees B2B Tech fees US Home Renovation US Renters US New Home Buyers India New Apt Buyers B2B2C Design Tech Design Service Full-service Interiors
  11. 11. Product-1 Product-1 Stages x Cycles x Teams https://brianbalfour.com/essays/product-market-fit-isnt-enough Product-1MarketFounder Distribution Channel Biz Model SeedIncubator, Labs Series A Series B Series C Late Stage
  12. 12. Founder - Market Fit Market understanding - Value-chain (channels) - P&L (key line items) - Customer satisfaction / probs - Competition - gaps - ------- - Trends - Thought leaders Founders to look for - Market understanding - Customer understanding - Can “find” the product - Can build it - ------ - Can tell the story - Can scale Is there a real problem ? Why this team ?
  13. 13. Product - Market Fit How to judge - Engagement - Retention - Satisfaction (ratings, nps) - ------- - Anecdotes - Willingness to pay What you might evaluate wrong - Averages hide pockets. - Need a complete product - Some products need time - ------ - Intensity of engage. like << love. - Herd effect - fad or a shift ? Do (will) a set of customers love this product ? Build a sub-product for market then find a sub-market for product https://firstround.com/review/how-superhuman-built-an-engine-to-find-product-market-fit/
  14. 14. Market : Soft-goods B2B B2C Brands Corp gifts A messy process Product : Buy & sell fashion online Shoes Founder behavior Vs Investor Interpretation ● Agile vs Focus ● Analytical vs Conviction ● Product vs Market Personalized
  15. 15. Product - Channel Fit Is there a cost-effective way for this product to reach many target customers ? Product Design - Key proposition for this channel - How will I convey the proposition on this channel - Drive trials - Onboarding - Virality - Cost structure - RPU + pricing Products are designed for channels. Channels are not designed for products.
  16. 16. Product-Channel Fit Awareness Convey Proposition Drive Trials Product - Good sportswear, very affordable Myntra banners Look fit like Hrithik Discounts Channel
  17. 17. Product-Channel Fit Awareness Convey Proposition Drive Trials Product - Premium workout-wear, for Indian fits Cure.fit app/centers Workout Imagery Bundled w/ membership Channel
  18. 18. Channel - Model Fit
  19. 19. Model-Market Fit $1 $10 $100 $1000 $10,000 $100,000 $1,000,000 1k 10k 100k 1M 10M 100M #-customers Self-serve Full-Service Price Can there be so many customers ? Will they pay so much ?
  20. 20. Evaluation Path Market Understanding - Theses - Value unlock Founder that matches market’s needs Reasonable product idea Product idea is suited for its distribution Channels Possible to make CM+ Can reach $100M+ scale

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  • alekshendra

    Jul. 22, 2020

Session 8 of the pi fellows programme covers various aspects of evaluating products from a venture investment perspective. Session was conducted by Shamik Sharma, Venture Partner @ pi Ventures and GM @ Cult Gear

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