Your style is generic, mine is…

Today I launched a new blog series called “Freestyle Friday,” where I will pick one request from our Facebook community and write a post about it. To get involved, like us on Facebook –> http://www.facebook.com/SeatGeek.

Thanks to David Primus (@davidprimus) for sending out the only request:  Hearing about product strategy would be very interesting, where you see yourselves in the sports and entertainment industries – and where you would like to head from here – David

First off, this is a great but broad question, so I am going to do my best to answer concisely.

I joined SeatGeek in March, and so far I have identified a few key themes to our product strategy and culture: 1) be efficient 2) test a lot 3) measure everything 4) everyone is on the product team (effectively).

I was previously on the Product Marketing team at Vistaprint.com, so I have a decent sense of product at a larger company vs. a <10 person startup.

Tools to Increase Efficiency

Before I go into the list, an interesting aspect about a startup is that we have to be very resourceful about the tools we use and the price (if any) we pay for them. In past positions, I have had homegrown tools specifically built for the needs of the company – obviously that is not the case here. Also, I always seek to find free option where available that fall into the old “80/20″ framework.

Here is a sample of the  tools I use (though I definitely have missed some):

Our Position

  • We have and continue to see ourselves as a Kayak/Farecast of the sports/concert ticketing industry
  • We are positioned as the only provider of ticket price forecasts in the sports/music ticketing industry
  • We are a young company that brings a unique analytically driven perspective to the industry

Where We Are Going

  • The secondary ticket market is a $10 -$15 billion dollar industry, there is a lot of upside, and we have a lot going for us after only one year in the space
  • Our short-term product roadmap, involves building out our new interactive seating maps that we just launched for the NFL – we recently hired a project manager to oversee these efforts and work towards completing the NBA, NHL, MLB, etc. as soon as possible (these will be rolled-out in phases, not all at once)
  • We just launched a whole site redesign yesterday and will continue to test and iterate on this new design
  • We have some really interesting new deal discovery tools and have some big plans for the future that are still not ready to be made public
  • We will continue to seek out partnerships, such as our partnership with Yardbarker (more > http://tba.seatgeek.com/category/partnerships)

Test / Measure

Even though I am technically in charge of Marketing here, I actually spend a good portion of my week staying on top of our metrics – identifying areas of improvement and discovering/fixing leaks as they arise. We are always testing something, and will continue to do so. Check out this post I wrote on the thought-process and strategy that led to our site redesign for a more detailed look into our product strategy (http://tba.seatgeek.com/product/homepage-redesign-for-startups-the-steps-we-took-before-handing-off-to-design). As you can tell, I tend to be pretty methodical, and also love to integrate not just competitive company research, but also comparable company research into the product strategy mix.

The Product Team

We don’t have an official Product Manager – Jack, Co-Founder, would be the closest to this, but he also does many other things for us. A typical product meeting (by meeting I mean grouping around a computer screen) would likely include a Co-Founder, Developer, Marketer, Intern, etc.

That is all I have for now because I have to catch a train out of Grand Central at 7:00. See you next time around and please ask questions because I am positive I didn’t cover everything here.