Storyblocks Case Study: The Effects of Vision-Led Product Management

Rajesh Nerlikar December 4 2020

The following is adapted from Build What Matters.

Storyblocks is the world’s first stock media subscription service, offering video, audio, and images. We’ve worked with them since 2015 and as their CEO, TJ Leonard, put it,

“We can see and feel Prodify's influence all over Storyblocks.”

Over that timeframe, the company has more than doubled ARR while growing product and engineering to fifty people, representing nearly half of the Storyblocks team.

Over the years, we’ve helped the Storyblocks team with product vision, strategy, and team development initiatives, but there were a couple of moments that stood out. One was an onsite workshop to create a customer outcome pyramid. Prior to that workshop, TJ shared his thoughts with a few people on the three drivers of customer value (plotted nicely on XYZ axes). After the team brainstormed individually how they would draw the customer outcome pyramid, it became clear that there was great alignment within the team. Working across departments, the team came up with a key outcome that revolved around Storyblocks’ aim of “giving all creatives the ability to pursue storytelling without limits.” This served as a great foundation as the team went on to think about products and features that would “10x” the customer outcome by improving the efficiency at which customers could create their high quality video content at scale.

Another example of applying the Vision-Led Product Management framework came from working backward from major milestones to come up with a product strategy. In this case, TJ kicked off the process by providing business outcomes (revenue goals), and we worked with him to draw a strong connection back to the customer value they needed to deliver in order to drive the top line growth they sought over a five-year horizon. From that point, the product team was able to identify the gaps in the existing product and craft a strategy to fill those gaps to realize their product vision in a way that ensured customer and business outcomes would be aligned in the end.

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Written by Rajesh Nerlikar

Rajesh is a co-founder of Prodify and Principal Product Advisor / Coach. He is currently the VP of Product at Regrow. Prior to that, he was the Director of Workplace Products at Morningstar, a Senior PM at HelloWallet (which was acquired by Morningstar) and a PM at Opower (which went public in 2014).

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