What Product-Led Companies Look Like

Ant Murphy
8 min readJun 27, 2022

I was on a panel the other week where we talked about ‘Cultivating a Product-Centric Culture’.

One of the questions was about what a Product-centric or product-led culture is and looks like?

This got me thinking a bit about trying to codify it — beyond the “it’s about being customer-centric…” and other generic statements.

And perhaps the best place to start is to talk about what it is not.

What Product-centric companies are not…

My friends and fellow panellists were quick to talk about what it is not, and I think it’s probably easiest to start here too.

It’s not:

  • Product Management-led
  • Product Managers are the boss
  • Where product makes all the calls
  • Something that only engineering and product do
  • Doing 12-week long discovery
  • Do only what our customers want us to do

What Product-centric companies share

Thinking about codifying this further, I thought about some of the common attributes — common norms — that I’ve observed in product-led companies.

They all:

  • Think in terms of products, not projects
  • Invest into their products and services as a strategic enabler (not a cost centre)
  • Experiment and don’t assume they have all the answers or are always right
  • Regularly talk to and about their customers
  • Use data to inform decisions, strategies, priorities, etc
  • Allow the best ideas to win based on evidence and supporting data/research
  • Focus on impact. They don’t fuss about output, velocity, etc… rather they obsess about the outcomes (customer and business impacts)
  • See product success as a company effort— not something product-tech does. Everyone has their part and role to play towards product success.
Ant Murphy

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