This is the second blog post in a series about building growth systems. After writing about Product & Growth as a fundamental belief system, I will now introduce the concept of sustainable growth systems, why they are relevant and what to consider when going through the process of building them.

Systematic growth optimisation and engagement loops have been an important part of my product management practice since 2011, but it has been just recently that I had the opportunity to connect all the dots about building growth systems.

It was like having the feeling of finally validating an assumption that…


It might sound controversial for some people, but I believe almost every product manager should also be a growth manager. That’s especially true for scale-ups trying to build defensibility or for startups focusing on getting traction (post P/M fit).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that all product teams should be structured the same way, have a similar scope of work and goals. That’s not the point here.

First, let me define what I mean by having a “Product & Growth” mindset (from a blog I posted in 2018).

“What the most creative and innovative organisations are doing to…


Great, more futurism stuff. Thanks, dude 👌.

First of all, let’s make it clear, I’m at your side. I have also been sick of reading stuff that just triggers me more euphoria and terror. So, this content has primarily been created to help people like us.

Over the past several years, drastic changes caused by technological and social disruptions have thrown our traditional assumptions and norms into near existential crisis. The focus of this content is to give you clarity of the impacts in your career and suggest key practical advice.

It’s important to note that we are living in…


I had been holding that secret for almost two months and the time to uncover it had finally arrived. I was in front of my business partner, one of my best friends, and I had to tell him that I was going to leave our own company.

It was late 2013, 13 years after we co-founded the company, 4 years after living a roller-coaster of euphoria and terror, 1 year after being acquired, and at that point in time, probably, in the best moment of our careers so far.

However, I had secretly lost my passion. I had lost my…


Read the headline again. Isn’t it silly?

You are now probably thinking — How could we even think on product growth initiatives without using metrics? Silly guy.

I absolutely agree, so what’s the deal? BTW, I’m not concerned on sounding silly, smarthead!

Yes, everybody seems to be a data nerd nowadays. There are three types of them: the specialists, the trend followers, and the ones who ask questions. However, what I noticed is that the first two are the largest majority today, which makes the conversation around metrics be too technical. …


Many organisations today are facing continual disruption and have the challenge of keeping pace with the rapid evolution of technology and people’s behaviour.

What the most creative and innovative organisations are doing to better build, launch and manage products that get and keep more customers in increasing uncertainty is to create a problem-solving team behaviour.

It’s about sensing uncertainty and understanding which questions we need to answer before diving into building. Learnings are the foundation. The more you know about your users, product, and channels the better you become at designing solutions that influence growth.

However, it isn’t enough to…


The key element in creating a strategy or a plan to grow a product is to have a problem-solving mindset. It’s about sensing uncertainty and understanding which questions we need to answer before diving into building.

It’s also about having a culture of experimentation and hypothesis validation (customer segments, value proposition, customer creation, usability), and keeping an eye on the big picture (desired outcomes, customer value, user base, community).

We must avoid a team behaviour that is too attached to ideas and activity. Focusing solely on ideas can deviate us from identifying the areas of biggest impact. And, having a…


There has been little change in the way well established organisations have been led. Once a corporation had established its high position and built long-lasting market barriers to protect itself from new entrants, a day in the life of a business executive basically focused on managing the company’s power and doing politics.

In an era of predictable demand and offer, the formula to execute a strategy was based on certainty — controlling internal performance indicators, market share and competition was enough. It was rare to get surprised by new variables in this equation.

This corporative reality has undergone drastic changes…


Foodastic was a trusted community marketplace for people to order housemade fresh meals directly from local chefs and small producers.

Its mission was to help people eat better, at a fair price, where and when they need. All the experience was based on the principles of collaborative economy, using the ’reputation capital’ to build trust between the community members.

The foodtech marketplace was created in a laboratory of innovation that was part of the digital unit of the RBS Group, one of the largest Media conglomerates in Brazil.

The lab mission was to have a team specialised in creating disruptive…


Everything around us is being disrupted right now. Media, education, entertainment, energy, finance, food, health, retail and transportation just to name a few examples. Startups once considered Unicorns have been disrupted faster than they can respond.

We have now reached a point where even our grandparents realise that the world as they knew it has gone. Their enlightenment isn’t because they have read about The Singularity hypothesis — they see it happening all around them.

The history of modern society has shown us that this sort of change has happened before (as brilliantly investigated by Paul Johnson in some of…

Andre Volkmer

Product Management | Scale-ups | Growth Systems

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