What is product scaling?
Scaling growing products is a cornerstone of successful SaaS businesses. However, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for product scaling. Product-led growth is dependent on market conditions, competitors, timing, and a plethora of other factors.
Product development is at its best when the design is focused on the needs and desires of a target market. Scaling that product correctly ensures that the product continues to thrive as it serves a greater and greater number of users.
With so many factors to consider and information available, choosing the correct strategy can be daunting, but this helpful guide to the best books for scaling a product will help product managers, directors, and executives find the best solutions to their product scaling questions.
Best starter book for scaling a product
Value Proposition Design by Alexander Osterwalder
For product managers who are starting out with scaling a product, Value Proposition Design by Alexander Osterwalder provides step-by-step instructions for successful product marketing. It offers a rigorous approach to testing and expanding on a product’s design and value prop to increase market value, and ultimately product-market fit as the product matures and moves toward a larger segment of the market.
This book is for product managers who are frustrated with new product meetings focused on hunches instead of market data. Value Proposition Design teaches product managers and designers to recognize patterns of value propositions, establish stronger connections with customers, and avoid spending time on ideas that will not work. Learn the process of designing value propositions that focus on your customer's needs.
Value Proposition Design helps product managers with the core challenge when starting out product scaling - designing products and services that your target customers will be happy to buy. This detailed book comes with an online companion that teaches the process product managers need to create products that sell fast.
For product managers that have established traction for their product, and want to rapidly grow, then the next book is a must-read.
Best book for scaling a product
Crossing The Chasm by Geoffrey Moore
Crossing The Chasm by Geoffrey More is a classic product marketing guide written in 1991, but it’s still relevant to this day. In it, Geoffrey More confronts the challenges of moving beyond the two first types of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) users - early adopters and innovators. Product managers will learn to identify these groups of customers and use these insights to their advantage.
The technology adoption life cycle begins with early adopters or innovators. After the early adopters will be the early majority or pragmatists. Next will be the late majority, and finally the laggards. The challenge most problem managers will face when scaling a product is the large gap between the early adopters and the early majority.
Early adopters are willing to sacrifice the quality of life features for the advantage of being the first users, while the early majority hold out for better technology which increases productivity. Narrowing this divide between the early adopters and the early majority will directly lead to accelerated product scaling through every segment.
The pragmatists will be the early majority of users. The problem with pragmatists is that they hold a different set of expectations than the previous two groups. Moore presents a number of proven strategies that focus on niche development and the establishment of whole product solutions.
Best book as you scale a product
Scaling Lean by Ash Maurya
Scaling Lean by Ash Maurya provides product managers with a roadmap to successful product scaling on lean principles. To scale lean means that as a business grows in size, it should not grow in waste. The tools available in Scaling Lean will help product managers scale their products efficiently and effectively.
Throughout Scaling Lean Ash Maurya demonstrates how product managers can embrace these lean principles in every step of product scaling while still ensuring rapid revenue growth. They’ll learn to use essential metrics that measure the effectiveness of a business model. These insights are the pulse of a successful company.
Ash Maurya teaches product managers how to communicate these essential metrics to stakeholders in clear terms, and how to use those same insights to quickly mitigate loss when things turn down.
Scaling Lean provides insights into risk management, and how to systematically identify risks to a business model through every stage. This allows product managers to focus their time on optimization, and avoid wasting time on mistakes.
Product managers will learn how to use a single essential business metric to test the viability of a business model, saving them from time of trial and error. Scaling Lean invites product managers to skip the grueling spreadsheets and use a few key metrics for better insights. Successful businesses can learn to use these lean principles while still gaining traction and adhering to a 10x rollout strategy made popular by Facebook. These easy-to-learn strategies deconstruct traction data into key metrics with only the most valuable insights.
Learn to use LEAN sprints to double down on the traction gained from source and Google ranking. Test good ideas quickly and toss out the rest. These insights will help any product manager turn failure into success.
Put what you learn into practice
Proactive product managers scale efficiently
Product scaling improves and iterates features of a product until it is optimized for current or future market conditions and growth. These optimizations depend on rapid changes and being able to adapt quickly following the insights derived from key business metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Using the information in the three best books for scaling a product provides the strategies needed to find your path to scale, and how to use them to optimize your Software as a Service (SaaS) business model.
The tools product managers learn how to use in the three best books for scaling a product will help them take a new product or a successful product already fit for the market, and scale it to take full advantage of market opportunities and grow their market share within the Total Addressable Market (TAM).
However, these strategies and tools will not be effective unless they are put into action. Put the three best books for scaling a product on your reading list now, and start optimizing the product scaling process without hesitation of wasting time or money on strategies that don't work, and business models that will flop.