May 5, 2023

Video: What does the future of product-led growth depend on?

In this video interview, a panel of marketing leaders discuss the future of product-led growth. One expert argues that successful products are differentiated by great product and design teams. Another suggests that the future of product-led growth lies in the hands of those who can systematically apply its principles. Others emphasize the importance of data-driven teams, better tooling for niche experiences, and starting companies with a product-led growth mindset.

But each interviewee agreed: for companies to be successful at product-led growth, they must prioritize design, data, customization, and... employee wellness. That last one might surprise you—but watch this interview and you'll understand why it's a crucial component to PLG success.👇

Words more your thing? We feel it! We've included the full transcript from this interview below:

David Apple:
The future of product led growth lies in great product and design teams. I love the design at Typeform and at Notion. That's really what appeals to me and obviously to millions of users. I think that's really what differentiates great products from the rest.

Jonathan Kim:
The future of product-led growth lies in the hands of the transformers, I think. Today the companies that were born native into doing product-led growth are kind of just making it up or doing what they felt is natural. But I think the second wave of people who are joining the movement, are going to be the ones that really pick it apart, understand why it works the way it does, and be able to apply those in a systematic way.

Tanya Littlefield:
The future of product-led growth relies on smart, data-driven teams working together to solve big problems and moving the needle.

Darius Contractor:
I think the future of product-led growth relies on better tooling, which makes it easier and easier to have highly customized, very specific experiences for people, and really something that services a particular companies need or a niche industry's need rather than global needs.

I think one thing we think about an Airtable is that Excel, in many ways, was the most democratized software invention of the eighties. It allowed anyone to take a computer and tell it to do a bunch of things at some scale, at least 20 or 30 times or hundreds of times. And that's still something where more people have programmed an Excel, made a function and equals this, than have picked up a Python manual and started coding there.

And so that's been incredibly democratizing. But if you look at SaaS software today, in many ways it's a set of templates. It's a set of things that smart people thought of, got VC investment for, and built one thing for.

And so if you downloaded Microsoft Excel and all you could use with the templates, like the ideas that other smart people had for the way to do your work, it would be incredibly constraining. You wouldn't be able to do much and it would feel like not Excel. It would feel like this template engine.

And that's the state of SaaS software. It's a template engine of what other people's ideas for how you should do your work. And so one thing I'm really excited about Airtable being at the forefront of is unlocking that potential, democratizing software, such that anyone can not just use the template engine but build their own software to get their own job done.

Amanda Kleha:
I think the future of product-led growth, like new companies that are thinking that way, relies on people that start companies with that in mind. So I think it's important as an entrepreneur that you're coming to conferences and sharing with people who think that way and learning what some of the pitfalls and things that you have to do are.

It's hard to innovate to be a product-led growth company as a big company, so that's why my brain goes straight to new startups that help confirm and reconfirm that this is how you should start companies these days.

Joel Stevenson:
I guess where we've always had kind of a focus on, I like to call it taking care of the whole person, and so we offer sitting meditation twice a week and yoga once a week, and we try to get people to go to that. It's great. We got a nice little room for it and it's a nice way for people to take a break during the day to refocus on themselves and self-management and we think it provides not only good benefits to the business, but also good health benefits for folks outside of work.

Margaret is a marketing advisor for B2B SaaS companies. Prior to founding her consulting practice, Margaret led marketing at OpenView and content at Appcues. Before that, she spent almost 4 years building and scaling content programs for InVision’s design community. She appreciates out-of-the-box creative ideas, practical executions, and Oxford commas.

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