Outfindo customer storysee all customer storiesHow e-com startup tests assumptions and spots product opportunities

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We are Outfindo, a pre-seed startup based in Czechia. Our mission is to help people select complex products without becoming experts. The current e-commerce world dumps a pile of filters on you — and it’s up to you to learn which ones are important and what the options mean. We build product selection guides that speak your language and ask questions you know how to answer. Currently piloting on bikes, and soon expanding to other segments.

What do you use Fibery for?

I started using Fibery for product management. Over time, other teams build their spaces there too. Right now, Fibery is our only work-management tool. We also use it as a knowledge base.

outfindo workspace

Why did you switch to Fibery and what tools did it replace?

We are still very small so we didn’t have that many tools to replace. This is also the reason why we moved to Fibery easily. I can’t imagine achieving that at my previous company, an international unicorn, where multiple countries, teams, and departments were hooked up with their tools.

We really only replaced Asana. For some cases, Fibery wins over Miro (whiteboards) and Google Sheets (project management, feedback collection). Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing, we are very happy that we have a tool that does almost everything we need and that we don’t need to switch from other tools.

The primary motivation was that I was looking for a product management tool. Asana didn’t really give me a good view of epics or a roadmap. I had heard of Fibery before so I gave it a try and I was mesmerized by its flexibility. I could set up any view, any process, see any fields on cards. Total freedom.

Now spill the tea: How does your Product Management process look like?

How do you set and track OKRs?

We do use OKRs in some form. But given our size and situation, most of the time, agility wins over planning and communication wins over documentation. We all know the business goals we have at the moment and the key metrics and we do all we can to achieve them. We iterate A LOT.

Once we grow and stabilize our business a bit, I can see how Fibery could capture OKRs beautifully. This is what I love about Fibery. It grows with you. As you learn new things, as you expand, as you change your workflow — Fibery is there, ready to fit your needs.

How do you prioritize features?

I do have a very simple scoring system based on impact and confidence. However, it is more of a thinking tool for me rather than a strict sorting system.

outfindo workspace

I can see the score on cards in views where I want them. And switch them off in other places. And I could sort cards by the score if I wanted to — which I don’t, but I know I can and I love that.

I try to increase our confidence in high-impact activities by testing assumptions and running experiments and MVPs. Very often, we learn by doing — because building something small is cheaper and faster than solid upfront validation.

So, for each major feature, I make a list of assumptions that must be true for the feature to succeed. And I rate our confidence in these assumptions and their importance. And those that are important and have low confidence are those that we need to validate the most. So we gather data to increase the confidence: sometimes market data, sometimes our product analytics, sometimes user interviews — whatever gives the best answer.

All credit goes to Teresa Torres of course, I just try to follow her method and use Fibery to fit it.

Create and track tasks

And here is story mapping on a whiteboard. I map the flow and create stories for key points right from the whiteboard, this is actually where Fibery shines at its best:

Watchdog flow

How do you track features and analyse progress?

An NNL (Now-Next-Later) roadmap is the heart of everything. Features have stories and stories sometimes have tasks (used by developers).

Roadmap

I map features to opportunities and have an opportunity tree as a whiteboard in Fibery. Here is a part of it:

Opportunity tree

Here is also an overview of product areas we spend most of our time on (we don't do story points, so this is based on story count):

Area focus

How do you do user research?

Even with our limited resources, we invest into continuous research and run regular sessions with potential customers.

Fibery is great for this. Notes and videos from all sessions are there and we have a board of insights that are linked to these notes.

I also set up several fields for data we collect from all sessions (like product price range, important parameters, etc.). And although the interviews are a qualitative tool, as they accumulate, a nice quantity of data gets built up.

Here is a screen of user stats we build from continuous research:

User stats

Praise time: What is your favorite Fibery feature and why?

Definitely flexibility. I love that I can look at the content any way I want. It’s a tool that’s built around my needs. I am not forced into a single holy workflow, which is what most tools more or less do.

I love the fact that Fibery has a whiteboard because it makes sense in so many cases. And I am quite sad that it’s very basic and kind of painful to use but I understand the reasons.

I am also excited about how fast Fibery improves. I use the tool and it keeps changing right under my hands. And most of the changes really do make working with the tool better, week after week. I have never seen this with any tool I had used in my life, including large tools with huge dev teams. It’s fun to watch and makes you tolerant to Fibery’s weaknesses — because you know it’s only a matter of (mostly short) time before they disappear.

Сriticism time: What you don't like/lack in Fibery?

It’s not a tool where you can just send invites to all team members and they just start using it. If there wasn’t for me as a Fibery expert/advocate, our company would never adopt it. There are many things that people expect from other tools and that Fibery can do, but without asking Polina you never find out how.

The most severe case is notifications, in my opinion. People expect to be notified about actions that are relevant to them, out of the box. Or, in small teams, about everything that goes on (Trello’s great ‘watch board’ feature). It’s a collaboration tool. But it’s hard to collaborate if you cannot communicate. Fibery can cover some cases but you have to put an enormous effort into setting up manual rules — and all of that separately for each space.

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