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I’m your host Anna Nadeina, Head of Growth for saas.group. In this episode #8, we are talking with Janna Bastow the co-founder of ProdPad (
(0:00:05) – Successful Product Management Tool & Community
Janna Bastow, co-founder of Prodpad, a software for product operations and product managers discusses how she is building the business and how she was growing one of the biggest product communities, Mind the Product. Janna stumbled upon product management as an account manager, recognizing the need to systematize product operations pieces. Along with her co-founder, they created the first version of ProdPad and began to share it with other product people for feedback. As they noticed more and more people wanting to buy the product, they started gaining the confidence to quit their jobs and focus on it full-time.
(0:09:33) – Building and Exiting Tech Companies
Janna Bastow talks about the development process of ProdPad, from when it first started in 2010 to the successful strategic exit in 2020. We explore how she was able to use HTML templates and Twitter Bootstrap when building the product, and how the pandemic led to the addition of a paywall and premium level of sponsorship. Janna also shares her vision for the product and her goal for it to be a place that people can look back on in 20 years with pride.
(0:14:44) – Customer-Funded Business With Growth
Jana talks about the way the pandemic has changed the company’s operations and what it was like making the shift from a two-person team to a full team of twenty-four. Janna shares her experience of watching different companies adapt to the pandemic and how her own business was affected. We also talk about ProdPad’s hiring process and their approach to growing the team.
(0:22:53) – Talent and Customer Acquisition
Janna Bastow discusses how to hire the best talent who understands the company’s culture. They share their multi-stage hiring process which includes screening and a thorough look into the CV. We also talk about how customer acquisition has changed since Mind the Product was acquired, and how most ProdPad customers come through organic search and word of mouth.
(0:26:24) – Product Success With Customer Feedback
Janna Bastow shares her vision about the importance of customer feedback when developing ProdPad. We discuss how customer feedback helped shape the roadmap of ProdPad and how to create a roadmap that is focused on outcomes rather than features. We also learn about the multi-stage hiring process that ProdPad uses to ensure they get the best talent who understands the company’s culture. Janna shares her experience of building a successful bootstrapped business and how she overcame the challenges along the way.
(0:34:09) – Scaling Challenges and AI Trends
Continuing the conversation with Janna Bastow, we explore the challenges of scaling as the product evolves over time. We discuss how user needs become increasingly complex and the types of users become more and more power users. We also explore the importance of building a product that serves the needs of these different cohorts, while continuing to be welcoming to new customers. Finally, Janna shares the current SaaS trend that excites her the most: AI, which can be used to reduce the grunt work for product people. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using AI and the importance of using it with caution. We also consider the boundaries of AI and how it compares to traditional tools used for product development. At the end of the conversation, Janna shares her advice for using AI.