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Reforge Podcast: 2024 predictions, AI apps, the future of PM, what we can learn from gaming, and more

Dear readers,

I was recently interviewed by the great Brian Balfour (CEO/cofounder of Reforge) and Fareed Mosavat (ex-Reforge/Slack/Zynga) which turned into a lively discussion — I think we could have gone longer! — which we just published in two parts. You can listen to both parts below, and the kind folks at Reforge also typed up some notes summarizing some of the major points made in the interview discussion.

Hope you enjoy!



Part 1 — 2024 Predictions: The Future of Product, Growth, and AI with Andrew Chen

Part 2 — New Marketing Channels and Trends for 2024: The Power of Organic Traction and the Law of Shitty Clickthroughs


Some thoughts and notes from the podcast:

  • 2024 Predictions: the future of product, growth, and AI What’s in store for 2024? Andrew Chen, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, joined us on the Season Finale of Unsolicited Feedback to share his insights.
    • High Growth, high churn? Many AI experiences are currently seeing high growth and high churn due to their novelty factor. The question remains: can they sustain growth after the novelty wears off?
    • MVPs Have power, for now… AI is in the early stage of its S-curve, similar to the early days of the App Store. This period is characterized by rapid innovation and experimentation.
    • To Predict the future, look at the past The MVP strategy works well in the early stages of technology, but as it matures, the standards rise. The Apple approach of perfection might be the key in the long term.
    • More IPOs in 2024 Expectations of more IPOs in 2024 are high, given the maturation of businesses and the market’s readiness for fresh players.
    • More M&A in 2024 An increase in mergers and acquisitions is anticipated in the startup market, primarily involving startups themselves.
    • Big Breakthrough in AI in 2024? While major breakthroughs aren’t guaranteed, wider capabilities and integration of AI in everyday tools are expected.
    • More Product managers in 2024 The demand for product managers is predicted to rise as companies continue to grow and evolve.
    • The Law of shitty clickthroughs This law dictates that the performance of any marketing channel degrades over time due to increased usage and saturation.
  • If You’re reading about it, it’s probably too late By the time a marketing channel becomes mainstream, it’s often already fully utilized.
    • Phone Calls? don’t even get me started Over-saturation has led to the decline of channels like phone calls and SMS marketing.
    • The Running start Success in big channels requires initial momentum, typically from non-scalable, unique marketing approaches.
    • Defensible Growth channels often mean going niche Focusing on niche markets can help make growth channels more defensible and sustainable.
    • The Power of organic traction Organic traction is crucial for crossing over to higher volume channels and creating a loyal base.
    • Building a brand Developing a compelling narrative or brand is essential in overcoming the challenges of saturated channels.
  • Lessons from Gaming: the power of community, creativity, and storytelling The gaming industry offers insights into growth and product development, emphasizing community building, storytelling, and technology.
    • The Anti-MVP approach In gaming, extensive development and testing before launch are common, contrasting with the tech industry’s MVP approach.
    • Launching is a community effort Gaming studios excel at building anticipation and community engagement before a game’s launch.
    • The Intersection of culture and technology Gaming combines culture and technology, creating engaging experiences that resonate with players.
    • Storytelling is as important as technology Storytelling in gaming emphasizes the importance of narrative in product development and marketing.


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