"If you're trying to solve problems across product, engineering and design, we can probably support you." Product Traction Lead and CPO, Oz Nazilli
In this video you'll learn about Thin Air Labs' Product Traction service and how it is designed to help startups of all sizes achieve their goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. The Product Traction team approaches engagements as a partnership, and they lead with empathy because at Thin Air Labs, we know how hard it is to build businesses.
Oz elaborates on the three core offerings of this service:
- Product Discovery and Validation
- Product Design and Build
- Product Growth
Full Transcript of the Video
00:00:07,100 --> 00:00:09,633
Hey, Oz, thanks for doing this.
00:00:10,166 --> 00:00:11,566
Thanks for having me Leah, how's it going?
00:00:11,566 --> 00:00:12,766
It's going really well. And it's going really well because we get to talk about the Product Traction Service.
So why don't we start right there? Why don't you tell me what it is?
00:00:20,666 --> 00:00:23,100
Yeah, it's my favorite topic to talk about nowadays.
00:00:23,100 --> 00:00:29,366
So, the Product Traction Service is a product studio/consultancy/agency partnership. We have many different words for it and we keep going back and forth
on the right way to describe it, because it really is meant to be us helping a startup achieve their goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.
00:00:39,966 --> 00:00:42,933
It's not quite a consultancy because we don't just come in and do some arm's length work and then drop a PowerPoint on their desk. It's not quite agency work because agencies don't have actual agency in what they do.
00:00:52,666 --> 00:00:58,200
We are really partners with our startup venture partners to build the next version of their product, and we have three core offerings for this one.
00:01:01,766 --> 00:01:04,066
The first is product is discovery and validation. So before we write any code, how can we de-risk the build as much as possible? Because software gets really expensive
once you start writing code. But design files or product strategy is relatively straightforward to change before you get into the development of it. So how can we ensure that you're addressing a meaningful enough problem in your startup?
Your.. you have a solution that's going to resonate with the market. You have personas that you understand what resonates with them, what their mental models are, etc. Do some market research, user research, and come up with a prioritized roadmap that maximizes the chances of the startup from a success perspective.
00:01:39,600 --> 00:01:43,033
The second pillar is really around traditional design and build, so using human centric design and lean and agile build philosophies, how can we get the thinnest slice
of software that's valuable into market as quickly as possible to again continue to validate the business, continue to get to that next milestone, whether it's their series
A raise, series B raise, what is their next big client?
00:02:02,633 --> 00:02:06,600
We work across the gamut of startups from really early stage to seed type startups to series B and onwards, so helping them achieve their goals across design,
engineering and product strategy.
And then the last pillar is really around product growth.
00:02:17,733 --> 00:02:21,433
So maybe you have a product and market, you need to figure out how to handle data in an effective way, how do you approach product analytics, how they approach
A/B testing, customer journey optimization, etc.. So anything that's around awareness, acquisition, activation, revenue and referral to ensure that again, our startup partners can get to their next milestone.
So it's a mouthful.
00:02:40,400 --> 00:02:43,800
It's spread across three pillars, but we're basically there to solve problems for our startup partners.
Wonderful, wonderful. You talked about this a little bit, but tell me a little bit more about who the service is really designed to help.
00:02:52,000 --> 00:02:55,033
Like, who are you targeting?
00:02:55,733 --> 00:02:56,066
00:02:56,066 --> 00:02:58,600
So the ideal persona is... it varies by the type of problem solving.
00:03:01,100 --> 00:03:04,766
So currently we're helping the CTO of a startup that has raised $66 million build a Canadian product team because they want to bring as much in-house as possible.
And for the start of their product engineering team as they rush towards their milestones with that much funding.
00:03:17,400 --> 00:03:21,633
We're helping a early stage founder, it's an idea on a napkin stage. We're helping them refine their product concept so that they can take that to investors
next and raise their next big round of funding and we're helping them de-risk the idea by really getting granular on who this product is for.
We're helping a startup that has their seed funding. They need to optimize their online presence. They need to iterate on their UI, and UX, they really need their next version of the product to hit their next milestone.
We're working with the founders of that team.
00:03:47,266 --> 00:03:50,900
So it really depends and this is why it's a bit of a hard service to put in a box and sell, because it could be for founders, it could be for C level, it could be for a director of engineering.
00:03:57,400 --> 00:04:01,266
But if you're trying to solve problems across product, engineering and design, we can probably support you.
00:04:03,000 --> 00:04:04,533
Wonderful. That's great. So why don't we talk a little bit about what it's actually like to work with the Product Traction team?
00:04:11,333 --> 00:04:16,466
So again, the approach here really depends on what is ideal for our clients.
00:04:16,733 --> 00:04:20,833
Some clients really want to work super integrated and super closely together. They want to meet daily, they want demos twice a week. They want to always be
solving problems together. And that really resonates with us because we do our best work when we're as collaborative as possible.
00:04:31,800 --> 00:04:33,033
But we also have models allowing for different approaches and different needs on the client side. Some clients are like, “Hey, you know what? I have no bandwidth for this. Can you just come in and take all these problems, solve them for me, and report back to me weekly or biweekly?
00:04:45,633 --> 00:04:48,300
So it really depends on how much time the client has. But the best work we do is really around collaboration, really around understanding what problems we're solving, really around putting empathy, first and foremost.
Empathy for our clients, empathy for the end users, empathy for one another within the Thin Air team.
So those are some of our core philosophies and how we work.
00:05:05,700 --> 00:05:09,866
And it's proven time and time again that across a wide range of clients and startups, this type of collaboration (empathy first approach) really resonates.
00:05:14,700 --> 00:05:16,166
It sure does. It sure does. So it (the Product Traction service) really is customizable, isn't it then, to whatever the need is of the organization you're working with?
00:05:23,433 --> 00:05:23,700
Yeah. I think the customizability is a blessing and a curse. Blessing because it allows us to do the best work possible. But obviously it becomes hard
to describe this in one sentence. And as we know, if you can't quickly grab someone's attention and tell them what you're all about, it becomes harder to cut through the noise. But we've been lucky that we have lots of great community partners.
00:05:43,433 --> 00:05:47,133
We're partnered with a bunch of large SaaS based companies like Mixpanel.
00:05:47,333 --> 00:05:50,400
They send us business because they trust the work that we do. So we've been tackling the difficulty
of explaining what we do from that perspective, leaning on our partners and our community involvement.
00:05:57,900 --> 00:06:01,133
But the customizability is definitely an asset for the partners we work with.
00:06:01,333 --> 00:06:02,733
Wonderful. That's great. Okay Oz, so if people are listening to this and thinking, “Hey, I need to explore this a bit further,” what's the best way
to get in touch with the team and learn a bit more?
For sure, so ThinAirLabs.ca, is our website. So you can see the full range of things
our company does for startups across funding and services.
00:06:21,000 --> 00:06:23,966
And you can just shoot me an email as well: Oz@thinairlabs.ca if you ever are like, “Hey,
I want to talk about product,” or, “I'm going to jam on this problem that I have,” we're always happy to grab some time and see if we can help you out.
00:06:32,400 --> 00:06:33,800
Terrific. Oz, thanks so much for this!
00:06:36,600 --> 00:06:37,033
Thanks for having me Leah!
Talk to you soon!