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The Secrets Behind Spotify's Product Success

I ran across a fantastic PDF on HackerNews by Henrik Kniberg that pulls back the covers on How Spotify Builds Products. It's such a good article -- and so different how many companies actually execute on building products -- that I wanted to highlight a few of the best parts.

Firstly, Spotify starts with a a strong, concise vision (with a singular focus): "Spotify’s vision is to bring you the right music for every moment." This has proven to be a fantastic guide as they iterate on their platform. In a similar way to Dropbox, which I described recently, everything Spotify does furthers that singular vision -- every new feature, every performance enhancement. "Starting as a music player a few years ago, their products are now evolving into a ubiquitous platform for discovering new music and connecting artists with their fans directly." This allows Spotify to expend all its energy on optimizing for product/market fit around that vision, and that's what creates tremendous shareholder value in product companies.

The article sets up, in simple terms, the product prioritization dilemma that trips many companies:

"Here’s the paradox though: Successful companies like Spotify only want to deliver products that people love. But they don’t know if people love it until they’ve delivered it. So how do they do it?"

The Onboarding Process 7 Steps To Turn Prospects Into Raving Fans

On Josef Experience Architect

Whenever a new prospect is first exposed to your brand or website, the goal is to get them to experience the key moment. This moment is the special value that only you can offer. This moment is what all great design and an experiences are about. Its the little bit of magic which puts a smile on your customers face. Your aim is to get them to this moment as quickly as possible. Once you have achieved that your next goal is to hook them on that experience. Turning casual users into a raving fan an amplifier, who can't help but tell more people and expose them to the experience you offer.

An example which shows the simplest path from awareness to experience is YouTube. This streamlined process was a key part of why it grew so quickly - no need to create an account, just a link and a video. The first time you were given a link to a YouTube video to actually watching it would be mentally imperceptible. By the time you understand the layout of the page and where the video is likely to be it starts to play.

At that point you get that special moment, the smile forms on your face. You can watch videos streamed online, which are reasonably fast to download, that's awesome. Then underneath the video and clearly visible, a commenting section where you can see what other people think. Along with a clear comment box encouraging engagement and account creation.

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