Recurring Revenue is Product Management

Tara Seshan, Product Manager at Stripe, shares how she created the roadmap for a new product launch and how to apply product management thinking to monetization and billing.

The market for software as a service (SaaS) products has exploded in recent years. Salesforce, Dropbox, and Slack are a few of many SaaS companies that have achieved breakout success.

Tara and her team at Stripe discovered that billing was a major challenge for SaaS companies. Given the company’s mission to grow the GDP of the Internet, it was an important problem for them to solve. Tara led the launch of the company’s new product, Stripe Billing, to do just that.

She shares how she developed the product from idea to delivery, how Stripe’s rapid growth - from hundreds of people when she first joined to thousands of people now - has impacted the product organization, and the lessons she learned about monetization in the process.

Interviewing users helped Tara discover the customer segments with the most acute need for Stripe Billing and which users within those organizations to initially focus on. She found that billing is not just a finance problem, it’s also a product problem.

Tara sees tremendous opportunity in applying product thinking to pricing and monetization. She shares how Meetup increased free to paid trial conversions by 300%.

Tara is vigilant about prioritization. She prioritizes opportunities that align with the long-term vision of the company and deliver the most significant impact in the short term.

You’ll learn a lot from this episode about market segmentation, new product launches, and subscription billing.

Here are the highlights:

  • How Tara and her team developed the idea for Stripe Billing (4:17)
  • Tara explains how listening to customers led them to focus on SaaS companies (7:38)
  • Tara discusses how to make decisions with key stakeholders in mind (14:08)
  • Tara shares insights into employing product thinking to monetization and billing (16:22)
  • How product management at Stripe has changed along with the evolution of the company (22:38)

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