By this point, most PMs know that the key to growth is a deep understanding of your target customers. Simply relying on internal ideas is not enough, nor is it enough to just look at google analytics and product usage data. You actually have to talk to the market.
But even if you are convinced to regularly interview customers to get the voice of the market, of the big blockers I have seen is simply HOW to go about it. How do you land customer interviews? What do you say during the customer interview?
Popularized by Amazon, a Single-Threaded Owner (STO) is a leader who is 100% dedicated and accountable to a new initiative such as inventing a new product, launching a new line of business, or executing a digital transformation. The Single-Threaded Owner is responsible for turning strategy into real results.
Product and service offerings follow a growth lifecycle:
Once you hit Flatline and Decline, it is very hard to bounce back. Stories of flatlining businesses that suddenly take off again are rare indeed. While there are ways to resuscitate a flatlining business, the ideal is to NEVER GET THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE and instead take the right actions to ensure continuous growth.
A "single-threaded owner" (or "single-threaded leader") is a new role describing a general manager who is 100% focused and 100% accountable to making a company's new initiative succeed. The single threaded owner is given their mandate, which could be anything - invent a new product, launch a new line of business, migrate a company to the cloud - and every day they and their team wake up with one question: "how do I make this initiative succeed?". But in practice, single-threaded owners are given very hard problems to solve. Focus and accountability is a necessary step, but you still have to make your program succeed, from strategy to execution.