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Eliminating Waste: Product Teams' Key to Surviving in 2023

Learn how to navigate the ambiguous world of product management in 2023. Cut waste, focus on retention, and sharpen your product offering, while staying adaptable in the face of contradicting information.

As we enter 2023, the business world is facing a challenging reality. The days of million-dollar NFTs and extravagant spending are gone, and now, companies must focus on their bottom line and top-line revenue.

The question on everyone's mind is, what can the product team do to help? The answer isn't as simple as hiring more researchers or analysts.

In today's economy, we must focus on eliminating waste in our processes, prioritization, and products to ship more user value with less money available.


process efficiency is crucial. Inefficient "ways of working" are still prevalent, and everyone can spot them. Identifying unproductive elements of your process and continuously improving them through KAIZEN is a must.


prioritization should focus on retention over acquisition. Rather than focusing on making the numbers look good, ensure that your product provides so much value that customers remain loyal even during economically challenging times. A product like that is the perfect platform to grow from.


it's time to trim the fat from your product offerings. Identify the unproductive parts of your product, cut low-usage features, and sharpen your value proposition. It's essential to note that some actions may oppose each other. For instance, cutting a low-usage feature might increase churn momentarily, which decreases retention. This is where mental clarity and frameworks come in handy.

In the force field between contradicting pieces of information, we must act with ambiguity. Therefore, we must equip ourselves with mental clarity and frameworks to deal with uncertainty.

Lastly, while we aim for capital efficiency, it's essential to note that the bubble has not entirely burst. Pudgy Penguin 3690 is still worth over $8,000 in January 2023. Thus, we must balance the high-leverage opportunities while maintaining the product.

In conclusion, these are challenging times, and we must do what we can to keep our businesses afloat. With process efficiency, retention-focused prioritization, and trimming unproductive features, we can ship more value with less money.

It's time to embrace ambiguity and equip ourselves with the tools to navigate these uncertain times.

Want even more tactical tips? I've collected templates over the years, that help me daily. They help me onboard faster with teams, brainstorm more collaboratively and communicate outcomes in a crisper way.