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Hiya! Who’re you and what enterprise did you begin?
Hello everybody, I’m Lengthy and I’m the founding father of Product Lab – the primary consulting firm in Vietnam about digital product administration.
Product Lab supplies consulting & coaching companies about digital product administration for startups, large corp, software program outsourcing corporations. The Product Lab workforce additionally cooperates with prime universities in Vietnam to supply workshops for his or her college students. Apart from that, now we have an e-learning course with recorded movies for particular person college students to be taught anytime, wherever.
Product Lab is the pioneer in digital product administration consulting in Vietnam. We’re the primary participant within the Vietnam market from the start.
Apart from the problem of the market chief with a restricted finances, Product Lab has some nice achievements equivalent to we had been sponsored a sales space in Techfest 2020 – the largest competition for the tech business in Vietnam, hosted by the Vietnamese authorities; we had been interviewed by Hanoi TV – fundamental media channel of Hanoi metropolis – the capital of Vietnam.
We had a possibility to work with Vinpearl and Vinfast – which belong to Vingroup (one of many largest corp in Vietnam) to assist the product workforce enhance the consumer expertise of their web site. And the very last thing, we hosted a webinar with BUV – British College Vietnam (one of many largest international universities in Vietnam) with the best variety of BUV college students who be part of the webinar since all college students in Vietnam should be taught on-line due to COVID-19.
What’s your backstory and the way did you give you the thought?
I studied advertising administration on the Vietnam College of Commerce. After graduating, I labored in a variety of tech corporations like Tradekey, Alibaba, then I moved to construct my very own startup in a advertising company, eCommerce, logistics, handicraft, and many others. I’m very all for expertise. I constructed on my own a startup neighborhood in Vietnam with 6000+ members who’re startup founders and builders. And thru my neighborhood, I met Thinh, Boris, and Ben – who’s my co-founders in Product Lab now.
Thinh and Boris are 10-year-experienced consultants in product growth and product administration. Ben has 10 years of expertise in coaching, consulting about design pondering – the methodology of product growth for lots of Huge Corps in Europe like L’Oreal, LVMH, and BMW.
Via my expertise in constructing a neighborhood in Vietnam, I noticed that the majority startup founders in Vietnam lack a product mindset. Most of them have technical backgrounds and labored in an outsourcing firm earlier than beginning their very own startup. Thinh, Ben, Boris, and I wish to convey our information to assist Vietnamese startup founders construct merchandise higher. We didn’t see any academies or universities in Vietnam which have product administration packages for college kids and enterprises. That’s why Thinh, Ben, Boris, and I made a decision to ascertain the Product Lab.
Take us by means of the method of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
Product Lab sells consulting and coaching companies. So step one for us is constructing a consulting course of and a curriculum for the course. I record the potential purchasers that I’ve within the community in my startup neighborhood that we will approve in an Excel file.
I can have a database as a result of I’ve a startup neighborhood and my private community earlier than establishing Product Lab. Then Product Lab and I approve every potential shopper and arrange the assembly and accumulate all of the questions and necessities of the purchasers. After doing this repeatedly, we full the questionnaire that we have to ask the purchasers to make clear their necessities for consulting companies. The questionnaire included questions like:
- What are your goal prospects?
- Are you able to inform me about your product imaginative and prescient originally?
- How many individuals are in your product workforce?
- Which instrument do you employ to handle the doc of your product?
- What’s your churn price?
After that, we constructed the gross sales package and gross sales course of to approve different purchasers who weren’t in my community earlier than.
Ardour will not be sufficient, you should have information and know-how to do the core enterprise.
Constructing a curriculum for the digital product administration course is difficult for us. Initially, we learn and accumulate all curriculums about digital product administration around the globe, from prime universities like Havard, Stanford, and many others to some well-known academies like Product College and Thoughts the Product. Secondly, we record the principle modules we have to give attention to:
Thirdly, we establish which content material we wish to enter on every slide of every module:
After that, we spend a little bit cash (round $150 for a tea break and advertising materials, and we get a sponsor from the venue proprietor) to host an occasion to draw individuals to learn about our course and provides the low cost voucher for every attendee who joins the occasion. It’s a bodily occasion with round 40 attendees. 50% of attendees are college students, junior builders, and startup founders. After that, now we have the primary class, after which the second class, the third class, and so forth.
Describe the method of launching the enterprise.
After having a curriculum and consulting course of, we spend a little bit cash to host an occasion to draw individuals to learn about our course and provides a reduction voucher for every attendee who joins the occasion.
We formally launched our enterprise in September 2020 though we began in February 2020 by internet hosting a heat occasion with potential prospects, companions. Our beginning value from the start is simply $4000 from 4 of the co-founders. 4 of us don’t obtain a wage from ProductLab throughout 1 yr to economize and canopy different bills. We get cash for residing from our financial savings or different jobs. We additionally join with Hanoi TV to advertise our picture to extra audiences. After that, now we have the primary class, after which the second class, the third class.
As a result of Product Lab is a consulting firm and most of us work remotely, a lot of the bills are the wage of staff, internet hosting, area, Google Suite, and advertising finances. 4 of us funded the Product Lab amount of cash to start out. The most important lesson we get is optimizing each value and utilizing all assets now we have to bootstrap originally.
Since launch, what has labored to draw and retain prospects?
Since launch, now we have used completely different channels to accumulate completely different prospects as a substitute of utilizing just one channel. For instance, with corporations, we entice them by becoming a member of a variety of enterprise occasions and internet hosting enterprise occasions by ourselves. Then we ship emails to every contact that’s all for our service and comply with up till now we have the assembly and ship them a proposal.
However with people, we establish college students and people who find themselves working within the advertising business in Vietnam as potential prospects. As an alternative of approving them by Fb Group, we use OnMic – which is the ClubHouse model of Vietnam.
The founding father of OnMic is a KOLs within the advertising business in Vietnam so nearly all customers in OnMic come from the advertising business. And there’s no English audio present on OnMic at this second. So we’re the primary English audio present and in addition the primary audio present about product administration. That’s the reason our audio present will get a variety of consideration from customers on OnMic.
Digital Promoting appears to not be advertising technique, after we run advertisements on Fb and Google Advertisements, we get few leads. We all know that as a result of most individuals in Vietnam don’t learn about digital product administration, the conversion price from digital promoting may be very low. Most of our leads come from social media, occasions, and some from search engine optimization on our web site.
How are you doing right this moment and what does the longer term seem like?
2020 and 2021 have been a tough time for all corporations around the globe, particularly Vietnamese corporations when the COVID-19 got here and the federal government imposed a lockdown on town. Nevertheless it was additionally a possibility for us when a variety of corporations wish to digitally remodel their conventional enterprise and so they want not less than a product supervisor of their digital transformation workforce.
Now, now we have a small workforce with 4 co-founders and a couple of staff. We intend to launch a Product Administration Mentor Program and possibly some new programs in 2022. We hope we will contribute extra to the product administration neighborhood in Vietnam subsequent yr. And we even have a plan to increase our enterprise to the Southeast Asia area if we’re profitable within the Vietnam market.
Via beginning the enterprise, have you ever realized something significantly useful or advantageous?
It’s not been a protracted however not quick journey with Product Lab till now. 2 years is the time I realized a variety of new issues. First, in order for you your workforce to work full-time remotely, you must construct a distant working tradition originally. The in-person working tradition may be very completely different from the distant working tradition equivalent to: whenever you work in an workplace, you may talk and repair every part in a short time. However whenever you work remotely at dwelling, with much less fast communication and focus, you should make clear each activity with deadlines and emergency ranges. If not, the duty will likely be delivered slower.
Second, my workforce has to steadiness the completely different working cultures among the many 4 of us. Ben and Boris come from European working tradition the place the working rule is normal however Factor and I come from Vietnam the place every part is a large number and individuals are loopy to work day and night time to get cash. This was our largest drawback. However we overcame it by creating the working settlement which is the record of mutual issues that every of us needs or does not wish to do to work higher.
Lastly, if you wish to work together with your co-founders, not for a day or per week or a month, however 5 years, 10 years, even 20 years, you must respect your co-founders. Every particular person has strengths and weaknesses. And even the neatest particular person will not be proper on a regular basis. So in case you are keen to just accept the weak spot of your co-founders and forgive their errors, you and your co-founders can go alongside.
In Product Lab, each 6 months, now we have an inside exercise known as “360 assessment”. Which means every particular person will write and communicate every part that we predict and really feel about our co-founders and don’t decide something, simply pay attention and really feel and respect.
What platform/instruments do you employ for your enterprise?
I take advantage of Wix to construct my web site as a result of it’s simple to make use of. I take advantage of Hubspot for CRM, Slack for inside communication, Jira for activity administration, Confluence & Google Drive for doc administration and Fb, LinkedIn and Mailchimp for PR, advertising.
The toughest factor when my workforce makes use of a variety of instruments with completely different techniques is methods to combine every part so the operation may be clean.
What have been essentially the most influential books, podcasts, or different assets?
Actually, I spend most of my time on workshops or meetups to listen to actual individuals inform their tales and expertise. Considered one of my favourite audio system is Mr. Dung Pham – Former CEO of Uber Vietnam. I had a possibility to listen to about his story and keenness with Uber, Uber drivers after Seize defeated Uber within the Vietnam market.
Recommendation for different entrepreneurs who wish to get began or are simply beginning out?
I’ve some recommendation for different entrepreneurs who wish to begin a enterprise:
First, you must actually perceive what you’ll do. Ardour will not be sufficient, you should have information and know-how to do the core enterprise. For instance, in the event you wanna begin a digital advertising company, it is best to get a job in a well-known digital company or in a advertising division of an enormous firm to get an summary.
Second, it is best to put together sufficient cash for residing for not less than a yr. As a result of it’s possible you’ll not get any cash in 6 months, and even 1 yr because you begin your enterprise. So you should have an amount of cash for private actions to outlive.
Third, discovering the precise workforce or proper co-founder is essential. It’s such as you discover a spouse or a husband for marriage. So you must decide every part from their means, character, and ambition to decide on your appropriate co-founders.
The place can we go to be taught extra?
You probably have any questions or feedback, drop a remark under!
Founding father of Product Lab
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