July 26 - July 30: HubSpot Roadmap AMA

jennysowyrda
Community Manager

AMA with HubSpot Product Marketing Manager @JoeMayall 

July 26 - July 30, 2021

 

Transparency is one of HubSpot’s main values both internally and with our Community. If you've seen our culture code, you know about HubSpot's H.E.A.R.T. values where the T stands for Transparency.

 

We strive to be as open and honest with our customers and users as possible. One of the best ways we honor this commitment is by sharing our development roadmap publicly on www.hubspot.com/new. The roadmap is your destination for just-updated roadmap decks detailing coming features, a vision for each Hub, and a recap of high-interest features.

 

HubSpot Roadmap AMA (1).png

 

Since launching www.hubspot.com/new at INBOUND 2020, we’ve received many questions about why we share our roadmap, how we organize each update, and how HubSpot customers can use the roadmap to plan for their future.

 

To answer these questions, and any more you may have, we’re hosting an AMA with @JoeMayall, the Product Marketing Manager who owns the roadmap. From July 26th to July 30th Joe is opening up his playbook in terms of managing and owning the roadmap and answering any questions around this topic. Please join us and ask any questions relating to the roadmap update process.

 

Not sure what to ask? Start with these questions:

  1. What is the goal of releasing HubSpot’s roadmap?
  2. How does the update process work?
  3. What lessons have you learned while owning the roadmap?

 

This thread will be open for your questions from 7/26 - 7/30. Joe will be answering questions periodically throughout the week.

 

Ask your questions in this thread today!

AMA
6 Replies 6
EduardoLopez
Member

Joe, thanks for opening up this AMA on the public roadmap. I've been interested in learning more about how to incorporate elements of "building in public" into our roadmap process where I work, but there are obviously a lot of concerns:

  1. Do we want to promise these things? What if we run into delays and need to push back the release? What if we decide to go in a different direction altogether?
  2. Isn't this inherently risky? This gives up our playbook. Considering we're a small team that can get outspent and outexecuted, wouldn't this put us at a disadvantage?

The list goes on.

 

Can you share a bit about why you decided to make the roadmap public and how you sold this internally?

And I'd obviously love to learn more about the benefits you've cashed in on since going public with this info.

 

Best,

Eduardo Lopez, PMM

JoeMayall
HubSpot Product Team

Hey @EduardoLopez 

 

Those are great questions! We certainly share these concerns at HubSpot, so hopefully, I can ease some of the worry.

 

1. To be blunt, no you don't want to promise anything! Product development is a bumpy road with lots of dead ends. What may seem like a sure thing can easily be pushed aside by competing priorities or feasibility issues. Every roadmap deck has “A Note regarding forward-looking statements” slide with this language:

 

"These statements are not intended to be a promise or guarantee of future availability of products, services, or features but merely reflect our current plans based on factors currently known to us."

 

I’d suggest adding something like this, and being transparent with your users so they're prepared if you have to go in another direction. 

 

2. It is a bit risky and bold, but that’s a risk we’re willing to take. While I can’t speak to your team’s specific circumstances, I can say that HubSpot is confident in our products. We believe we do a better job of listening to our users and prospects than our competitors, which enables us to build the products the market wants. Also, you don’t have to add everything to your roadmap. If we have a highly proprietary feature in the works, we don’t always put it on the roadmap for just this reason.

 

We decided to make the roadmap public for a few reasons, but the principal one was that it makes it easier for customers to see HubSpot's vision. If you're signing a contract with us, you want to know what HubSpot is going to look like through that contract. Making the roadmap external helped customers/prospects see this vision on their own terms.

 

As for the benefits of going public, we have much happier customers. Not only do our customers LOVE seeing the coming features, but they know we're taking these risks for them, and they appreciate us for it.

 

Hope that helps!

Joe

cskelly
Participant

Hey Joe!

 

Awesome stuff in these decks. It's really great to see so many of last year's improvements align with budding startups and "what's next" seems designed for many companies moving to the next level of marketing/sales sophistication. 

 

1. HubSpot does a fantastic job of developing for customers of all kinds. In your opinion, what are some of the top developments that will help startups choose HS?

 

2. Do you see a theme across all of the developments (or in a specific Hub?) Any industry trends your team is seeing that is helping to prioritize some of the features?

 

-Connor

JoeMayall
HubSpot Product Team

Hey Connor!

 

Great questions!

 

1. While the best features to use will depend on the particulars of each startup, some of the coming features I see as most valuable are workflow templates and improved quote to cash. Startups are cash and time-strapped. They need to maximize each employee's output. Workflow templates will be fantastic for automating business practices without having to struggle to build complex workflows. Improved quote to cash is going to make it even easier and quicker to collect payment, which is a big win for startups that don't have deep pockets.

 

2. Two things come to mind: first is making software even easier. With streamlined CMS Hub onboarding, the aforementioned workflow templates, and many other ease-of-use improvements, HubSpot is committed to making products that can be used by your entire team, not just IT and developers. The second is improved reporting. As seen in our roadmap decks, HubSpot's product teams are obsessed with delivering the data users want. Solid reporting not only enables you to change tactics when needed, but it "shows your work," equipping you to prove value and get buy-in from notable stakeholders.

 

Thanks for the great questions!

Joe

natsumimori
Community Manager

Hey @JoeMayall !

 

I've got 2 questions from Japanese Community members and wanted to get your thoughts😃

 

1. 

Hello! I was wondering if you could give me some insight into how you respond to feature improvement requests from your customers and how you prioritize feature development. I wanted to learn this from you because my company provides PaaS to our customers and we usually receive a lot of requests for feature improvement.

 

HubSpot has customers in variety of industries, so I'm sure you get lots of feedback on product improvement and new features. I'd love to hear your wisdom and tips. Thank you so much!

 

2.

Hi. What are some of the things HubSpot does to get benefitial/useful feedback from the customers? I'd like to know about the methodological side of things, such as accepting feedback via a form at any time, or hearing about it in regular meetings. If possibel, could you also share if there is a defined process for responding to the feedback you receive?

 

Thank you!

JoeMayall
HubSpot Product Team

Thanks @natsumimori! These are great questions.

 

1. HubSpot hears feature requests from multiple sources (social media, support and success calls, and sales talks), but the primary channel is the Ideas Forum. When we respond to Ideas Forum requests, our primary goal is transparency. If we don't have plans to develop a product, we want to tell the users so they can set expectations and plan their organization's future accordingly. As for how we prioritize feature development, every team is different, but I can say it's a blend of: user interest (which we gauge from the Ideas Forum), time constraints, labor resources, usability, privacy & security concerns, and feasibility. The important thing to stress here is paying attention to what your customers want! While there are always constraints, if your users are telling you they want something, you should try your best to make it a priority.

 

2.  As I mentioned above, the primary product feedback channel is the HubSpot Ideas Forum. It's a great site for our customers to submit product ideas and feature requests! If you're looking to replicate our feedback process, but don't have the resources for a Forum, I'd suggest setting up two forms: one should be internal, while the other is external. If your team members hear a product idea, they can submit the internal one, while the external one should be posted where your customers can find it.

 

Best!

Joe