Talk: #product management for startups, (Intro)

Talk I gave @NIC, National Incubation Centre about #product management for startups. it is just an intro, the subject is vast of course, there are a lot of concept that I just mentioned but would rather need to dig deeper (platforms, growth hacking, KPIs, analytics, agile, lean…). I emphasised more on the audience, young startuper who never got a product management intro before. I deliberately focus on product strategy, that is about building the “right thing” that is very common pitfall.

Any comment, suggestions, please share with me.




Roku needs to pivot to survive

Roku successful IPO should not hide the big challenges the Los Gatos firm faces and will in the near future.
As a “simple” video/TV platform, Roku is poised to be disrupted by platform systems like Amazon, Apple and Google sooner or later if it does not change.
Roku Platform
Fig: Roku TV platform business model, Zishan AM CC


Started from smartphones, Android TV and Apple TV are edge platforms built from greater platform systems. On the producer side, Google’s Android Studio and Apple’s Xcode offer full suit of developer tools and services that allow to leverage their myriad services (i.e. maps, analytics, ads…), assets (i.e. material design, devices, tvOS and Android TV OS) in the form of libraries and API calls bundled in a native SDK. Both tech giants have expanded their platform system to cover different devices in order to offer fully coherent, comprehensive and consistent ecosystem to developers, marketers and advertisers but also a frictionless user experience (UX) to their users/audience (pull, capture, match virtuous UX circle).

Both tech firms follow an envelop strategy (@PlatformRevolution from Parker, Van Alstyne and Choudary, MIT Media labs, 2016)  to compete against incumbents’ single product and/or platforms to increase traffic and digital content exchange on their respective platform. It avoids multihoming by increasing user’s platform switching costs (i.e. as an iphone user, you may have acquired many apps and content that can’t be played on Android and vice versa).

It follows as what economist called a complement offering (@TheContentTrap from Bharat Anand, Random House, 2016). Two products are complements if a user’s value from consuming both is greater than the sum of her values from consuming alone as Anand described. Like selling hot dogs and ketchup separately, it is OK but together it is tastier and better sell.

More on platform system in this article.
Platform systems (Google, Apple, Amazon) > TV platforms (i.e. Roku) > product/service
Ps > Po > p
While Roku has one of the best of todays TV/Video B2C platform it has number of limitations:
  • Roku platform is not a Platform system
  • Roku is too much TV screen centric
  • Roku OS is today only offering TV centric Ux
  • Roku data capacities are limited compared to GAFA and even Rovi/Tivo
  • Roku infrastructure is limited in terms of geo
  • for the Network – Marketplace – community layer, Roku has limitation in terms of:
    • Multi-screen user friendly UX
    • unified search
    • personalised and smart curation
    • content deep library and tail
    • unified content and aggregation
  • limited Advertising capabilities compared to GAFA and internet players (Twitter, Facebook, Rakuten…)
I believe that if Roku wants to be really competitive in the new TV/Video market reconfiguration, it needs to:
  1. Focus on Software capabilities, pivot positioning to B2B TV/Video platform. Positioned as the Twilio of the TV/Video platforms for Telcos, content and developers
  2. Ditch the hardware, retail and B2C
  3. Strengthen its Network – Marketplace – Community platform layer with following skills:
    1. Multi-screen user friendly UX
    2. unified search
    3. personalised and smart curation
    4. content deep library and tail
    5. unified content and aggregation from linear, non linear, User generated content/broadcast and protected content, represents all genres (music, documentenray, education…) and localized (Indian, Spanish, Chinese…)
  4. Strengthen its Digital, Programatic video, recommendation and analytics capabilities through partnership or acquisitions in the SSP and/or DMP.
However it will not be easy because Roku will then face directly the large bluechip companies alike: Ericsson (media room/reach), Cisco (NDS, Videoscpae), Accenture (AVS) and all Network service providers (Nokia/Alcatel, Huawei etc…)
As such, Roku will then sits between the GAFA and the traditional TV/Video platform vendors Ericsson et al. I feel that Roku’s products are superior than the traditional incumbents one however, having the best product does not guarantee success (remember Apple Newton or Sony eReader or Mp3 players?).
Through my discussions with operators, I see a lot of them resistant to Android. Roku can be a viable alternative.
Briginghtcove has succeeded in pivoting from a C2C platform to a B2B OVP platform. Roku can do it but will require bold moves.
Let see ˆ_ˆ

– Easygari – Connected car app concept


Let me introduce you

Easygari a service that takes care of you car and its occupant.

Easygari UX like all the coming digital products are based on 4 UX principles:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Highly visual
  3. Personalized
  4. Inclusion

First of its kind in Telenor, the idea is to foray onto the connected car market and create a Pan-Asian (Telenor is present in 5 countries in Asia)  mobility platform to our partners and developers

Easygari – Telenor connected car app concept from Zishan M. on Vimeo.

Zishan @ Telenor Digital

UX tools I used : Sketch, Invision, Framer

Any feedback, please contact me:


WTF is IoT °_°, how big is it and why now?

The definition

There is a lot of hype on IoT recently but what is in substance?
For the last years I came up with this simple definition:

def: IoT is the ability of objects to speak and respond.

Think of toy story or cars (my son favourite) Pixar movies where toy and car items interact. Yes you get it, it is as simple.
Well, you got the concept.

Now you might wonder how big is this?

According to IDC and Gartner, IoT is not big, it is massive. IDC estimates IoT spending in 2016 at $737 billion. The research institute forecasts IoT spending to grow by 15,6% on an annual basis for the next 5 years to reach $1.29 trillion in 2020, that is the size on todays’ Australian economy!
In terms of number of devices, Gartner predicts 6.4 Billion IoT objects in 2016, that is roughly the size of global population.
As a summary here, IoT value is equal to the size of the Netherland economy and there is 1 IoT devices per human on earth.

IoT market value = The Netherland GDP, 2016

1 IoT device = 1 human on earth

Why now and why so fast?

Well, basically there is a concordance of 4 phenomenas that explains IoT exponential growth:
  1. the Moore law
  2. the Nielsen law
  3. the Metclaff law
  4. Marshall Law


Those laws are not recent, some dated from 18th century, actually pretty old, but there is old saying that says, “good food is always made of old pans ” ,isn’t it?
Let me explain the 4 laws briefly:

The Moore law states that “the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately by 18 months” that means the computing power (i.e. chips and memory) doubles every 18 months.


The Nielsen law network connection speeds for high-end home users would double every 21 months


The Metclaff law” states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2″). that means when there is 10 user of the system or network it means 100 unique connections by adding 1 user from 10 to 11, the numbers of unique connections increases by 21%. That is foundation of what in the tech industry people call “network effect”. By adding a new users you are increasing exponentially the value of the network. Now imagine in the scale of Facebook, Amazon of Ali Baba.


The Marshall law claims “supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a market”. It means if you go to the superstore nearby and buy one box of cereal it might cost you $3. There is deal offered by the store, you buy 2 cereal boxes at $5, the cost per boxes could be $2.5. So by increasing the quantity I am ready to buy (demand), the superstore is willing to decrease the price per box (supply).


After reading the 4 laws, you might guess where I am getting at ;).
As the computing power (Mhz) and bandwidth increase (4-5G, Fiber…) by 60% and 50% annually, the devices offering increases. As we are in a competitive market (except North Korea), the quantity of devices outpace the demand (you, me and all consumers) that pushes the device manufacturers to differentiate by increasing the value (more features at same price) and/or decrease prices to match consumer expectations and willingness to pay. Devices manufacturers are able to do that because the connection costs are failing as well. In fact if you connect 10 devices or 10 millions to the same telecom operator network, the connection cost per devices (ARPU) will be dramatically lower.
Lately, consumers buy the devices and is now connected to a global system where all devices are linked each other increasing the value of the network (think internet, mobile phones, social networks and IoT).
Here is my 2 cents in explaining the IoT market boom.
Feel free to share comments.