Should You Be More Product Oriented? Practical Advice From Wes Bush

Should You Be More Product Oriented? Practical Advice From Wes Bush

When I was still teaching, the three main points of advice I found myself repeating were:

  1. Take your time.
  2. Keep it simple.
  3. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

As it turns out, those three statements apply to most things in life – including business. Especially business.

I know. We’ve been in an era of calculated risk, mainlining entrepreneurial spirit, and the pervasive (-ly annoying) go-big-or-go-home philosophy for so long that “going above and beyond” isn’t even status quo; it’s bare minimum requirements.

Hear me out.

No matter what else you’re doing with your company, you have to take care of your customers. You have to understand them: what they want, what they need, and what they will need down the road.

That understanding of your customer and their relationship with your product is a crucial aspect of becoming a successful product-oriented business.

So you’ve read our previous post on product-led growth (PLG) and now know all the nuts and bolts of a PLG go-to-market strategy. It’s a super-exciting concept and exactly the direction you’ve wanted to take your company in.

But. (There’s always a “but.”)

Your business – the entire customer lifecycle every user of your product goes through – revolves around the traditional sales-led approach of painstakingly coaxing every customer through each step of the sales cycle from demo to trial to paying user.

You can’t go in tomorrow morning, clear out all your established processes, and tell your sales team: Right, we’re totally changing everything right this second. Even if your sales team doesn’t laugh you out of the office, it’s not going to work.

So how do you navigate that transition and maintain your success?

I didn’t know the answer to that, so for this Process Street post, I went straight to the horse’s mouth (🐴) and asked PLG champ, author, and founder Wes Bush about how to make PLG work and become a successful, product-oriented company.

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UX Research Methods: Behind the Scenes At Process Street

UX Research Methods Behind the Scenes At Process Street

Jonathan Bond is a Process Street Staff Product Designer, Star Wars fan, and human problem solver. Reach him on Twitter @jrbond.

The path you actually take in life is often wildly different from the one you thought you’d take. I spent years undertaking a fine arts degree. However, after I graduated, I wanted to get my hands metaphorically dirty (and literally cleaner — goodbye, paint!) by going into graphic design.

Initially, I bounced between various agencies doing what you’d expect any freelance graphic designer to do: logos and websites. While it was interesting and paid the bills, there was a new buzzword on the block in 2010 that sounded even more exciting: UX.

“A user interface is like a joke.
If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.”
Martin LeBlanc, CEO

User experience (UX) design is focused on the individual thoughts about a product or service a person might have. It takes into consideration qualitative data like the user’s emotions and attitudes towards a product, as well as the more practical elements like ease of use, efficiency, and so on.

The more I read about UX design, the more I liked what I read. I felt it fit my own design philosophy; I just connected with it. This was something I wanted to be involved in.

As luck would have it, a company that wanted someone to improve their app’s aesthetic hired me to be involved with that. I still didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I kept reading and studying, and ten years later, I’m still doing that – now at Process Street.

This post will cover:

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