Obo invents product decision system that delivers better product plans in 60 minutes or less

January 24, 2019


Emerges from stealth with new platform that prevents product failure and optimizes Feature Funnel™ by aligning tech companies’ product plans with strategic business objectives

SAN MATEO, Calif. — January 24, 2019Obo today emerged from stealth to introduce the world’s first product decision system, which enables technology companies to consistently put their best product forward. Designed specifically for product managers and product teams, Obo’s SaaS platform delivers powerful market validation tools and optimizes the product decision-making process based on concrete data. Obo significantly simplifies and speeds the process of sharing critical product information across the enterprise, from product managers to the C-suite. Using the Obo product decision system, product teams can easily manage their Feature FunnelTM and build better product plans in as little as 60 minutes that align their product decisions with business drivers including corporate objectives, stakeholder demands, and market fit—thereby limiting risk when developing new products or product features. Currently, the Obo system is used by enterprise technology companies such as C3 (formerly C3IoT), MariaDB, Jumpshot, NetApp, and RedSeal. In separate announcements today, Obo announced $8.2M in initial funding from Wildcat Ventures and TDF Ventures, as well as results from its State of the Product Journey survey.

Built on best practices and guidance from a team with more than $100 billion and 100 years of combined product success, Obo closes the gap between product managers and the C-suite to ensure that business objectives and product decisions go hand in hand. With Obo, product teams can prioritize and focus on what matters most to their market, customers, and internal stakeholders to deliver more successful products. Backing their product decisions with data, product teams can now clearly articulate the “why” behind product decisions.

“The Obo Product Suite is built by product experts for product teams. It addresses one of the top challenges facing businesses today, namely the need to build a better product without investing countless hours into analyzing the risks and rewards of each move. By adding a layer of automation to this process, we provide value in under an hour and mitigate natural human biases by substantiating decisions with easy-to-understand data,” said Pete Sinclair, CEO at Obo. “We’re thrilled to publicly launch our system and bring it to the enterprise, and to help more products and businesses succeed.”

60 Minutes to a Better Product PlanTM: Replace “Fail Faster” with “Succeed Faster” Mentality

Most products fail. In fact, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen notes that each year 30,000 new consumer products are launched—and 95 percent of them fail. This can be for several reasons, not the least of which is misalignment between what the engineering team is building, what the C-suite envisions and what the customer and market actually need. Alignment across the extended product team is key to solving this challenge.

Using Obo’s software to guide them through a four-step “60 Minutes to a Better Product PlanTM process, product teams are empowered to not just avoid failure but to succeed faster by leveraging collective knowledge and input, making smart trade-offs, and improving ROI by evaluating product decisions against desired returns. In 60 Minutes to a Better Product PlanTM, product managers can:

  1. Import feature candidates from their feature funnel.
  2. Establish custom driver rating scales using Obo’s default corporate driver set—which includes revenue, customer satisfaction, new customer acquisition, existing customer expansion, and new markets (geography, industry, or product).
  3. Rate features on their driver scale.
  4. Create a product plan that is optimized for both feature candidate value and cost to implement.

Once teams have a reliable product plan based on data rather than “gut decisions,” creating successful products with the benefit of entire-team collaboration is easy. Obo also enables stakeholder surveys to draw out insights from the product team and others to test and validate these insights, and then apply them to help make the best fact-based decisions for product success.

“As a career-long product manager and leader, I’ve witnessed many products succeed and fail. Many successes come from simply luck. But luck doesn’t scale, and traditional tools just help teams build the wrong product faster,” said John Garrish, VP Product at Obo. “Obo’s approach is uniquely scalable and efficient. It provides a common language for everyone involved in the product decision-making process and has the potential to transform how businesses run.”

Obo’s product decision system includes:

  • Plan Optimizer: Obo uses sophisticated algorithms that consider value, costs, and dependencies specific to an organization to run billions of calculations in real time, effectively solving the “traveling salesman” problem. Plan Optimizer lets users compare “what if” scenarios in real time, pin features in or out, visualize the tradeoffs, and determine the optimal product plan for the business.
  • Consistent, aligned drivers: Product teams rate potential features and releases using consistent scales aligned with business objectives—ensuring that the most valuable features most likely to achieve business objectives are completed and released first.
  • Embedded Surveys: Market survey capabilities are embedded directly into the product, making market and product validation with internal or external stakeholders fast and actionable. Obo integrates directly with leading market panel providers.
  • Searchable System of Record: With Obo, customers have access to a complete, searchable, and chronological system of record that ensures knowledge doesn’t leave the company when an employee does—protecting IP and allowing product managers to easily track what is behind every product feature, from idea to release.

Obo’s product decision system is available today. Visit www.obo.pm for more details.