In my recent blogpost about the Impossible Roadmap, I referred to the pressure that product managers of connected devices and digital services experience from users of their products. Enthusiastic consumers create a long-tail of small feature requests. That is a tough problem to manage and it could render a backlog unworkable. This all comes with the risk of a lose-lose situation for both the consumer and the producer.

But that is not the only challenge to deal with, being a product manager of an innovative connected device or a modern digital service.

Of course, your customers or end-users have requirement that go beyond the specs of the product you have released. And, especially if you have just launched your MVP product.

Your colleagues have requirements too.

How to deal with boundaries

Your marketing colleagues will want to craft a beautiful campaign in which your product shines. Their creativity, and the creativity of agencies they work with, knows no boundaries. Unfortunately, your product has…

Business partners of your company are also enthusiastic about your new product. And your colleagues in sales or business development see great opportunities for cooperation. In which your new product works together with business of your partners. Again, no boundaries to creativity, but there are boundaries to your product …

And for your product to work in a campaign or a partnership, development resources are required, causing additional pressure on your already overcrowded backlog. And the likely end result: you will have to disappoint your marketing colleagues, and your business development colleagues, because their timescales are incompatible with your backlog.

On the other hand, your colleagues in IT have their own set of worries. Your new product was recently released, but to make the release date, some corners were cut. And as the product is live now, they would like to spend time on fixing the shortcuts. Or reduce or pay-off the technical debt that was incurred during the development process. And most certainly, they don’t have time for frivolous campaign initiatives.

Yet another example of where, as a product manager, you might get stuck between the front of the organisation where your products need to be sold, and the back of your club where your products get made. A gap between marketing and tech. A gap that cannot just be solved by adding more development resources (because there aren’t any).

A radical different approach

Now, what if a marketeer or creative agency could adapt your product himself. And add features or functionality that suits the needs of his campaign or a market segment he is looking to address? Without requiring development resources?

And what if your business development staff could have your product work together with partners, by making connections themselves? Without requiring development resources?

Their jobs would be so much more easy and fun if they can give way to their creativity, without the brakes on. And probably, they could be more successful.

Your colleagues in tech would be happy to. They wouldn’t need to be bothered with small, but always urgent, requests. They already built a beautiful API as a separation of responsibilities between the infrastructure and the outside world. If only this could be put to use for internal activities too, they would possess a double-edged sword.

Olisto was founded to address this issue.

To have connected products work together with other products and services. Because, in many cases, the missing function of the one connected product, is perfectly available in the form of some other connected service. Connecting your product or service to the internet opens great opportunities, and not just cans of worms as you might experience shortly after launch of your MVP.

If you recognize the above situation and want to do something about it, drop us a line and let’s talk. If you connect your product to the internet, let us help you to have it work together with other products and services. So you deliver what matters and build what matters.

I look forward to speaking to you.