Massivue Blog

Making Stuff People Want: A Beginner’s Guide to Product Operating Models 

Imagine you’re running a bakery. You could spend all your time making fancy, one-of-a-kind cakes (projects). This might be fun, but it wouldn’t be very efficient. People might have to wait a long time for their cake, and it might not be exactly what they wanted. 

Instead, most bakeries have a product operating model. They bake fresh bread and cookies every day (products) that people can always count on. They might also offer a couple of specialty cakes, but these are based on what people have liked in the past (customer feedback). This way, the bakery can deliver what people want, when they want it. 

What is a Product Operating Model? 

A product operating model is just a fancy way of saying how a company makes and sells things that people keep using. It’s different from a project-based model, which focuses on one-time tasks. 

Here’s the key difference: 

  • Project Model: Think of building a house. It’s a big job with a clear start and finish. Once it’s done, you move on to the next house. 
  • Product Model: Think of running a restaurant. You’re constantly making food, serving customers, and getting feedback to improve your menu. It never really ends. 

Why Use a Product Operating Model? 

There are many benefits to this approach: 

  • Happy Customers: You can focus on what customers need and keep making your product better based on their feedback. 
  • Faster Delivery: You can release new features and updates quicker, so your customers don’t have to wait. 
  • Less Waste: You can avoid spending time and money on projects that nobody wants. 
  • Engaged Employees: People feel more invested in something that’s constantly evolving. 

Is This Right for My Business? 

A full product operating model might not be necessary for every company. But some elements can be helpful for almost any organization. Here are some signs it might be a good fit: 

Getting Started with a Product Operating Model 

Here are a few steps to take if you’re interested in trying this approach: 

  • Identify Your Products: What are the offerings your company provides that continually deliver value? 
  • Build Product Teams: Can you assemble small groups of individuals accountable for each product’s success? 
  • Focus on Improvement: How often do you solicit feedback from customers and incorporate it to enhance your products? 

Companies Winning with the Product Operating Model 

The product operating model (POM) isn’t just a fancy theory. Many real-world companies have adopted it and achieved impressive results. Let’s look at a couple of examples: 

1. Spotify: The Music Keeps Flowing 

Remember the days of buying entire albums, even if you only liked a few songs? Spotify changed the game with its streaming service. They use a POM to constantly improve their platform based on user habits. Here’s how it benefits them: 

  • Faster Innovation: They can quickly release new features, like personalized playlists or improved audio quality, keeping users engaged. 
  • Data-Driven Decisions: By analyzing user data, they can understand what kind of music people are listening to and tailor their recommendations accordingly. 
  • Happy Users, Happy Business: By focusing on user experience, Spotify boasts a loyal customer base and keeps people coming back for more. 

2. Amazon: The Everything Store, Always Evolving 

Amazon started as an online bookstore, but it’s become a giant thanks in part to its product operating model. Here’s how it works for them: 

  • Constant Improvement: They’re always adding new products and features, from cloud computing services to voice-activated assistants. 
  • Customer Centricity: They use customer feedback to improve their search algorithms, recommend products people might like, and ensure a smooth buying experience. 
  • Adaptability: The POM allows them to quickly respond to changing market trends and customer needs, keeping them ahead of the competition. 

These are just two examples, but many other successful companies, like Netflix and Intuit, rely on product operating models. By focusing on continuous improvement and meeting customer needs, these companies have built thriving and sustainable businesses. 

It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint 

Switching to a product operating model takes time and effort. However, by focusing on making things people want and constantly improving, you can create a more successful and sustainable business. 

Related Courses

Related Posts

Subscribe to our newsletter
The latest news, articles, and resources, sent to your inbox weekly.
© 2022 Soflyy. All rights reserved.