“No amount of salespeople or technicians can save you in the long run if your customers don’t love your product”
When founders are to lay off staff and cut costs to cope with the recession, it may seem odd timing to tell startups to take their product as seriously as ever. Do users in a recession really care about product experience? Yes, says Mighty Capitalwhose portfolio includes companies like Airbnb and Amplitude.
The San Francisco-based VC firm has a core thesis: the best product wins. And changed macro conditions don’t invalidate it. On the contrary, Mighty Capital’s founding managing partner, SC Moati, told gotechbusiness.com that it “may be more relevant now than ever”.
SC Moatti is a former Facebook executive with a passion for all things product. In addition to her role at Mighty Capital, she is also the founder and CEO of Products that countan extensive network of product managers who promote the benefits of product-driven growth.
Product-driven growth makes sense in a downturn: if it’s the product itself that does the heavy lifting, it could potentially mean a lot less spending on sales and marketing. This makes it more likely for successful product-driven companies to both grow quickly and be profitable, something investors are eager to hear right now.
There’s a catch, though: you can’t be product-oriented without a great product. However, it’s understandable that entrepreneurs are nervous about the kind of investment this will require, while their burn speed is already keeping them up at night.
To understand how SC Moatti feels about the product-versus-expense conundrum, we asked her a series of questions founders might have when thinking about making the product-driven leap. Her answers follow below, edited for length and clarity.