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HubSpot Alumni

Ideas Forum Feedback

Hi folks!


I'm Joe, the Ideas Forum Manager. I've created this thread to hear your feedback on the Ideas Forum. Feel free to place any-and-all feedback about the Ideas Forum on this thread. 



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Ideas Forum Feedback


I got really sad when I read your post. Should product managers really be protected from the ideas that those pesky, time-wasting customers come up with? Seriously? Just let the customers chat among themselves but not spend time actually getting involved??


@ChaosFreak put it very well: it is the life blood of product management to collect customer feedback. I too work for a software company, and customer feedback and ideas are crucial for the product team. On top, a simple LinkedIn Sales Navigator search reveals at least 136 people with "product manager" in their job title currently working for Hubspot. As LISN doesn't always catch everybody, the number is probably even higher. So saying that you don't have the resources to cope with 500 new ideas really does sound absolutely disingenuous.


I have over the past six month had the pleasure of dealing with a handful of Hubspot's product managers in relation to various betas, and they have been extremely helpful, kind, inquisitive and knowledgeable. To suggest they should not waste time following the posts on the ideas forum doesn't do them justice.


I also pursue this with the same motive as ChaosFreak: I want Hubspot to be a better product from my team and business. We like Hubspot. Please don't reject our love and our ideas. Otherwise, one day you will wake up and find that we love someone else's product more. 



Ideas Forum Feedback

Hi @JoeMayall ,


Thanks for your response. Like many of your HubSpot customers, my company is a software development company. We know, for example, that product managers do not build products, developers build products. Product managers collect ideas and perform market research to determine what features to build next. So, your statement "the more time Product Managers spend on the Forum, the less time they have to build products", while it sounds nice, is not accurate and is, frankly, disingenuous.


A product manager's life blood is user feedback. They should be begging users to submit as many ideas as possible, and should be delighted to read them all. Let's use your figure of 500 ideas per month. It takes about 2 minutes to read an idea. That's 1000 minutes per month. That equates to 16 hours, or roughly two work days. So, even if HubSpot only had ONE product manager, they could read through all 500 ideas in two days.


Now, you may say it's not enough to just read the ideas in 2 minutes... they need to consider the idea. OK, let's say they spend an average of 30 minutes on an initial screening of every idea. That's 250 hours, or roughly 31 person-days. But I'm sure that a company like HubSpot with $700 million in yearly revenue can afford more than one product manager, so let's say you have 10 product managers (though I'm sure it's much higher).  That's 25 hours per person, or about three work days per month. And you're trying to tell us that if your product managers read all 500 ideas every month, they'd have no time at all to get any of the features implemented? Give us a break.


Relying on upvoting to screen ideas is a completely mistaken idea. For a user to upvote a feature idea, they have to:

  1. Know that this forum even exists
  2. Search for the feature
  3. Find the relevant idea in the forum
  4. Know that they can vote for it, and know how to vote for it
  5. Believe that voting for it makes any difference at all to HubSpot

So, the number of users who actually vote for an idea are a tiny fraction of the users who desperately need the feature. It's a terrible metric to base your product roadmap on, because users who participate in community forums are not necessarily a representative sample of all users. Not to mention that so many users create similar or duplicate ideas in the forums, the vote gets split across them.


For this ideas forum to work, you need to :

  1. Implement a method for consolidating similar ideas and preventing duplicates (check out how StackOverflow does this extremely well)
  2. Commit to your users that all ideas will be reviewed by a product manager
  3. Find a way to better publicize the ideas forum so that more users know they can vote for features they need


I don't have all the answers on how to best funnel user feedback into the product roadmap; if I did, I'd be rich. I do know, however, that ignoring user feedback because your product managers are "too busy" is a recipe for failure, and for creating very, very unhappy users. These alienated users will stop participating in the forum, and convince their companies to ditch HubSpot at the next opportunity. You'll be left with a forum consisting only of the true believers, and will be living in a bubble where you don't see the true sentiment of all of your users.


I'm pushing back here not to be difficult, but becuase I want HubSpot to be a better product for me and my team. That would benefit you as well!