Once you have built your product and it’s in the market, there are only three things that matter: distribution (getting the product into users' hands), engagement (validating that you’ve built the right product and that users are using it), and monetization (making money from those engaged users). Some companies call this the 3 Rs: reach, retention and revenue. Whatever you call it, this is your strategy.
At board meetings, I’ve started categorizing each portfolio company’s roadmap items into these three buckets. It’s a simplification that immediately reveals the priorities of the company at any stage.
Is most of the product development focused on growth or new product features that drive engagement? How have those priorities changed over time? Where are most of our people allocated? Are these priorities the right ones given the stage of the company?
Breaking strategy into these three parts makes it easy - you now have a template, a stencil for describing your strategy. Make a table that looks like this:
Fill it in with the top 2 to 3 initiatives per quarter. You have just built a board-level roadmap that describes your strategy. Explain it to your board, solicit feedback, then hold a town hall and describe it to your team. Then get back to building your company!
01 April 2013