PLG is a software-based acronym

PLG is a software-based acronym ...

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If there is a single concern to the software industry, it's that it continues to evolve. We're on the verge of its most recent transformation.

The industry was organized for the majority of its history in an on-premises delivery model. Business customers would acquire software licenses for a specific number of applications they would access from their individual machines or via a centralized server.

This approach posed a couple of obstacles:

  • Applications didnt get upgraded until the company responsible for the software came in and made changes to the clients centralized server stack.
  • There was little incentive for software developers to make the best possible product. Once an app was embedded inside an organization, the sale was done and employees hadto use the product, even if they hated it. Any problems would need to wait for fixes in the next update. Whenever that was.

When Salesforce launched a customer relationship management solution, a welcome alternative came to the market. SaaS provided greater purchase and deployment. Customers no longer needed to wait for a vendor to arrive and fiddle with a server to provide the appropriate number of licenses. Businesses may instead pay for their apps monthly as part of a service subscription.

While SaaS marked an important rise, product purchases were still subjected to the approval of a handful of executives who decided for the rest of the organization. Even if the people who purchased the product every day were depressed, they didn't get to vote or offer feedback. The C-suite made the final decision.

We're now in the midst of another software evolution, one that puts users front and center in the product discussion, where they will have a crucial role in their business. PLG is a concept known as or PLG.

What is the significance of PLG?

PLG's message is often confused with public discourse. For me, as an engineer and a software engineer, it's simple: PLG is the purest form of building technology. It's about developing products so they're beneficial to the individuals who work with them.

The philosophy is based on the assumption that the purchasing power constellation has evolved. During the pandemic, we had already been moving in this direction, but the transition accelerated. Currently, senior executives are openly acknowledging they don't retain the buying power they once had. I'm talking from first-hand experience.

I never thought about buying Slack for our employees. Then it spread rapidly across our organization as one department after the next adopted its "freemium" offer. It didn't take long before we developed our usage and functional limitations. And since we needed the most advanced features, I had no choice but to get the entire product.

A fresh product management framework is proposed.

Changes in the way we think about product management frameworks will be necessary in the PLG era. Despite their commitment to build for administrators and address enterprise values, they will need to place the user at the core of their activities.

When I was at Blackberry, I remember how a customer advisory board he was often referred to as The Angry Men. It had a strong influence on what the product management teams focused on. Sometimes, their feedback provided the business the most attention possible. I don't know how many businesses can survive using such a narrow framework. It's up to you to deliver what they really need.

Steve Jobs was well-known for its technology, which is perhaps one of the reasons why many smartphone manufacturers became obsolete. Yet the iPhone eventually overwhelmed them because the consumer had the purchasing power and ultimately chose what they wanted to do. But Blackberry did not have a solution that allowed them to do that. So, the end user won.

We are now living in a world in which actual users receive instant feedback from regular users sharing their reviews on the Google Chrome store or on LinkedIn. So instead of relying on selected feedback from a few of their customers, companies must now publicize their experiences with their products. That's a significant change.

I've had countless conversations with CEOs, many of whom operate top-down sales organizations, stating that they understand this shift and want to transform their businesses into PLG companies. Great. I admit, however, they need to delight users almost immediately.

Its difficult to define a PLG gene into your corporate DNA. But look at what happens when you do it right. Facebook was always passionate about the product. So when Facebook finally turned on ads, it became one of the most valuable companies basically overnight.

The concept of design must be a foundation of the PLG process. In this new world we live in, the bar has been set higher. It's Service the total democratization of business software, where every user must gain value. We're moving away from the SaaS and on-prem eras and products need to be of sufficient quality to reach out to the general public.

Don't beggar yourself if you don't have to.

At Garage Capital, aVC company, has been cofounder and CEO of the video platform for business.

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