Emerges from stealth with new platform that prevents product failure and optimizes Feature Funnel™ by aligning tech companies’ product plans with strategic business objectives
SAN MATEO, Calif. — January 24, 2019 — Obo today emerged from stealth to introduce the world’s first product decision system, which enables technology companies to consistently put their best product forward. Designed specifically for product managers and product teams, Obo’s SaaS platform delivers powerful market validation tools and optimizes the product decision-making process based on concrete data. Obo significantly simplifies and speeds the process of sharing critical product information across the enterprise, from product managers to the C-suite. Using the Obo product decision system, product teams can easily manage their Feature FunnelTM and build better product plans in as little as 60 minutes that align their product decisions with business drivers including corporate objectives, stakeholder demands, and market fit—thereby limiting risk when developing new products or product features. Currently, the Obo system is used by enterprise technology companies such as C3 (formerly C3IoT), MariaDB, Jumpshot, NetApp, and RedSeal. In separate announcements today, Obo announced $8.2M in initial funding from Wildcat Ventures and TDF Ventures, as well as results from its State of the Product Journey survey.
Built on best practices and guidance from a team with more than $100 billion and 100 years of combined product success, Obo closes the gap between product managers and the C-suite to ensure that business objectives and product decisions go hand in hand. With Obo, product teams can prioritize and focus on what matters most to their market, customers, and internal stakeholders to deliver more successful products. Backing their product decisions with data, product teams can now clearly articulate the “why” behind product decisions.
“The Obo Product Suite is built by product experts for product teams. It addresses one of the top challenges facing businesses today, namely the need to build a better product without investing countless hours into analyzing the risks and rewards of each move. By adding a layer of automation to this process, we provide value in under an hour and mitigate natural human biases by substantiating decisions with easy-to-understand data,” said Pete Sinclair, CEO at Obo. “We’re thrilled to publicly launch our system and bring it to the enterprise, and to help more products and businesses succeed.”
60 Minutes to a Better Product PlanTM: Replace “Fail Faster” with “Succeed Faster” Mentality
Most products fail. In fact, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen notes that each year 30,000 new consumer products are launched—and 95 percent of them fail. This can be for several reasons, not the least of which is misalignment between what the engineering team is building, what the C-suite envisions and what the customer and market actually need. Alignment across the extended product team is key to solving this challenge.
Using Obo’s software to guide them through a four-step “60 Minutes to a Better Product PlanTM” process, product teams are empowered to not just avoid failure but to succeed faster by leveraging collective knowledge and input, making smart trade-offs, and improving ROI by evaluating product decisions against desired returns. In 60 Minutes to a Better Product PlanTM, product managers can:
- Import feature candidates from their feature funnel.
- Establish custom driver rating scales using Obo’s default corporate driver set—which includes revenue, customer satisfaction, new customer acquisition, existing customer expansion, and new markets (geography, industry, or product).
- Rate features on their driver scale.
- Create a product plan that is optimized for both feature candidate value and cost to implement.
Once teams have a reliable product plan based on data rather than “gut decisions,” creating successful products with the benefit of entire-team collaboration is easy. Obo also enables stakeholder surveys to draw out insights from the product team and others to test and validate these insights, and then apply them to help make the best fact-based decisions for product success.
“As a career-long product manager and leader, I’ve witnessed many products succeed and fail. Many successes come from simply luck. But luck doesn’t scale, and traditional tools just help teams build the wrong product faster,” said John Garrish, VP Product at Obo. “Obo’s approach is uniquely scalable and efficient. It provides a common language for everyone involved in the product decision-making process and has the potential to transform how businesses run.”
Obo’s product decision system includes:
- Plan Optimizer: Obo uses sophisticated algorithms that consider value, costs, and dependencies specific to an organization to run billions of calculations in real time, effectively solving the “traveling salesman” problem. Plan Optimizer lets users compare “what if” scenarios in real time, pin features in or out, visualize the tradeoffs, and determine the optimal product plan for the business.
- Consistent, aligned drivers: Product teams rate potential features and releases using consistent scales aligned with business objectives—ensuring that the most valuable features most likely to achieve business objectives are completed and released first.
- Embedded Surveys: Market survey capabilities are embedded directly into the product, making market and product validation with internal or external stakeholders fast and actionable. Obo integrates directly with leading market panel providers.
- Searchable System of Record: With Obo, customers have access to a complete, searchable, and chronological system of record that ensures knowledge doesn’t leave the company when an employee does—protecting IP and allowing product managers to easily track what is behind every product feature, from idea to release.
Obo’s product decision system is available today. Visit www.obo.pm for more details.
Houman Behzadi, Chief Product Officer at C3: “Obo enhances our ability to utilize market-driven insight for product planning,” said Houman Behzadi, Chief Product Officer at C3, “and has a variety of valuable features for an AI-centric and data-driven company like C3. In particular, Obo’s embedded surveys enable us to directly tie customer needs to feature improvements, enabling more educated product decisions and resource commitments. Additionally, Obo’s easy-to-use interface and rapid onboarding supplemented our decision to use Obo.”
Jill Soley, VP of Product Management and Product Marketing at Cloverpop: “I love that Obo has put together these market panels; for B2B it’s not difficult to survey your customers, but it’s much harder to get good, useful market feedback from people who are not currently using your products.”
Jerome Crochat, Director of Product Management at Jumpshot: “Obo provides us with a quantifiable way to measure our top features, and prioritize new ones so our product team is never left guessing.”
Dipti Joshi, Director of Product Management at MariaDB: “With Obo, we’re able to plan smaller, more frequent updates that anticipate user needs and wants, rather than reacting to them.”
Kurt Van Etten, Chief Product Officer at Redseal: “Obo has enabled us to compare our product to competitors, and to ensure we are offering the best possible solution to our target market.”
Brian Peck, VP of Product Management at Zimperium: “The value of Obo lies in having data to back up your product release plan that you can then share with peers and executives to communicate why these features should be launched in this order. Those conversations are much easier when they’re based on data, rather than (potentially competing) opinions.”
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Read our Quick Start Guide: 60 Minutes to a Better Product PlanTM
Read our eBook: Put your best product forward™: An Obo essential guide
Obo provides the first system for orchestrating product decisions so that technology companies can build the right products and features in the first place, on budget, and on time. Created by product people for product people, the Obo product decision system provides data-driven guidance to making the best decisions about what is in product plans and on roadmaps. Through its easy-to-navigate interface, users can collaborate across the entire product team to manage their Feature Funnel™, validate assumptions with targeted market research, prioritize features, dynamically model “what if” release plan scenarios before committing resources, and track product decisions with a comprehensive system of record. By aligning the product process with core business objectives and using concrete data from the market, customers, and internal stakeholders to inform the product decision-making process at every step, Obo closes the gap between product managers and the C-suite to ensure that business objectives and product decisions go hand in hand. At a time when product failure has reached record levels – affecting customers, company valuations, investors, and employees – Obo introduces greater certainty and predictability into the product process. Instead of building elaborate roadmaps in silos for what may or may not be the right features, teams across an enterprise—from the C-suite to product managers to engineers to customer success teams – can use Obo to collaborate on product plans. Companies including C3, Jumpshot, MariaDB, and RedSeal use the Obo SaaS platform to create better product plans in 60 minutes or less, eliminating wasted time and resources. Put your best product forward.™