Gathering Product Feedback in a Startup

Image representing UserVoice as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

Gathering and organizing product feedback from constituents like customers, prospects, analysts, sales reps, support reps, and more can be a real challenge. I like to recommend two different strategies depending on the stage of the startup:

  • Seed Stage Product Feedback Strategy – a simple Google Spreadsheet with columns like Idea, Comments, URL, Done, and Proposed By goes a long way. The goal is to have something quick and dirty that allows everyone to see the ideas and add their thoughts. Each month a sheet in the spreadsheet should be renamed to archives and another sheet should be added so that things don’t get too cluttered. Customers and prospects don’t have access to the spreadsheet but all employees do have access.
  • Early/Growth Stage Product Feedback Strategy – a combination of a simple Google Spreadsheet and a formal app like UserVoice. UserVoice would be used by customers and employees. The Google Spreadsheet would be similar to the seed stage spreadsheet but it would be exclusively managed by the product manager. Every month the product manager would solicit input in person from the key constituents as well as ideas in UserVoice to come up with the road map. The process is more formal but still collaborative and agile.

Gather and organizing product feedback is critical for the success of a startup. Using these simple approaches provides for a scalable strategy.

What else? How do you gather product feedback in a startup?

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