So, you’ve found backing from a venture capital firm for your product - congratulations!
Now, the real work begins.
The thing about investors is that their big cheque comes with a few big strings attached.
VC investors expect you to deliver rapid results to capture market share and win the land grab. The reason for this is simple: they need large exits to clear their hurdle rate and make up for investments that don’t work out.
The bottom line?
You need to move fast.
How do you do this?
Option 1: Bring in more product developers
You might think that the best and easiest option is simply to bring in more product developers. After all, you just want to get the product out there in the market fast, so throwing more resources at it is the best way to achieve this, right?
The answer is yes…and no.
You do need more development firepower, but the question you should be asking is how best to achieve that.
The big drawback of outsourcing your product development team or augmenting your team with more developers: you and the VC wind up with more people to onboard and manage, which means a bigger drain on their investment and your time. Then you need to wait while the new people actually become productive.
So what’s the alternative?
Option 2: Bring in a strategy development partner
You don’t need to permanently scale your product leadership to temporarily accelerate your roadmap and hit the milestones your investors expect.
Working with a strategic development partner, like Propel, gives you access to the appropriate product and technology leaders and delivery team with the capability to deliver without putting extra management burden on you and your current leadership team.
Why is this approach to increasing development velocity better than a body shop or staff augmentation model?
Here are three advantages:
1. It takes a product and user led approach to maximise product-fit.
At Propel, we spearhead our teams with a combination of Product Management and UX to ensure that user, workflow and business needs are understood and always central to the product development approach.
2. The team is productive as quickly as possible.
We’re not adding a developer here and there. Instead our teams are intact product teams who have experience working together and have already formed, stormed, normed and are performing.
3. We minimise the management requirement on you (but you retain control).
Our experienced leaders manage Propel team members and work autonomously within your business, giving you full visibility and control without taking up valuable managerial bandwidth.
This is important because, in rapidly growing businesses, there is already significant overhead on internal product and delivery leaders.
Propel’s product and delivery leaders still report into your structure - that means Propel product managers report into your product leader, and so on.
Most importantly, we do more than develop products.
We will guide you and your business through the development cycle, focusing on building the right product to capture market opportunities quickly - just as your investors expect.
Because our team is there through every stage, unlike an outsourced team of product developers, we can stay close to customer feedback so there’s never a risk of missing the market fit with unnecessary features.
So, you can maximise every dollar of your investment and get your product to market faster.
This is especially important as you start thinking about the next round of investment. Series B investors will be looking at the momentum you’ve already gained and how you are planning to scale and grow. The right strategic development partner will help you do that.
Are you a start-up or portfolio company looking to create product-market fit, faster?
Contact our founders Ben or Paul at Propel Ventures to find out how we can work together.