🎤How does Miro help this Product Strategist organise his thoughts?

For Vivek Sundaram, product strategist at Fyno, the Miro platform isn't just another application; it's an essential part of his daily workflow.

How does Miro help this Product Strategist organise his thoughts? podcast with vivek sundaram, product strategist at fyno.

Poocho is back with yet another episode of Down and Dirty and our featured guest this time is Vivek Sundaram from Fyno.

Vivek has over 5 years of core technical experience working at Oracle and Morgan Stanley. He also has 8+ years of Product experience working with brands like Hopscotch, CaratLane and FanCode. After 8 years of building and scaling B2C products, he is now building B2B SaaS with Fyno

So, what is the prime tool of choice for this seasoned professional? Say hello to Miro.

For Vivek, this visual platform isn't just another application; it's an essential part of his daily workflow. He reveals that he keeps the Miro app open as a constant tab, using it extensively for brainstorming and planning.

Highlights from the episode include:

  • B2C to B2B: Vivek compares his experience working in the B2B space to his experience in previous roles in B2C. It's a fascinating exploration of how the dynamics change when you make the shift.
  • Miro as a core tool: He puts a spotlight on Miro, highlighting how it lies at the very core of his product strategy process.
  • Miro’s template archives: He talks about how Miro's rich template library has become an indispensable asset in his work process, streamlining his creative and strategic endeavours. 
  • Power of visualisation: Through a show-and-tell, he highlights a recent project that includes a comparison chart of multiple competitors created entirely within Miro that helps with strategic analysis and visualisation.

Tune in now and watch the full episode to find out why Miro is Vivek’s best friend.

Also listen on: Youtube Spotify Amazon Music Apple Music

Read the transcript

0:00 - Taapsi

Hello and welcome everyone to another episode of ‘Down And Dirty’. Today we have with us Vivek Sundaram, product strategist at Fyno. But what an illustrious background, IIM Bangalore and NIT Trichy, worked product at Hopscotch, at Caratlane. Lots of B2C experience it seems and also now B2B experience with Fyno and what I loved the most when I was going through your profile was product design, strategy and research. So that's, that's quite a holistic background to understanding the consumer experience both from just doing research, but also then designing solutions for them and really happy to have you on the show. Thanks so much. Do you wanna, I'm just gonna turn the mic to you and please introduce yourself in a sentence or two before we dive in.

0:53 - Vivek

Sure. Sure. Yeah, so thanks, Taapsi. Thanks for the introduction. So, yeah, I think like you mentioned my career has been started with technology as a backend developer, then post my MBA, I kind of actually started into analytics, then more into product, primarily into B2C product, with Hopscotch, Caratlane and FanCode. So during that time, I was able to learn lots of stuff, which you mentioned, right, user research, design, consumer behavior and a lot more, right. And so currently I am with Fyno, it's a B2B saas platform. And this is my first stint in B2B, right and I was always curious about B2B as a product because I never tried my hands on it. So that's how this opportunity came in and I wanted to just take a stab at it. So that's how the journey at Fyno started.

1:48 - Taapsi

Fantastic. So could you walk me through a day in your life as a product strategist at Fyno? What does your day start with? And how does it end?

1: 57 - Vivek

So, so I will compare both like B2C and B2B, right. Even for me also, it's kind of a long, it's a huge learning curve how a B2B firm operates right. Fyno is a seed stage startup right, we are just a 15 to 16 member team, right. So we are still figuring out our product market fit and where you want to go and everything, right. So, so, there's a lot of ambiguity, right compared to other firms where we know what we're building, there's a lot of ambiguity because we're just starting up less than a year old, right. So, see mostly we used to have stand ups three times a week, right. That's how mostly the day starts where generally we have clear agenda, month on month, agenda where we kind of figure out exactly where we are at. Is there any blockers mostly from the tech point of view, right. The discussions will be more tech point of view and I mostly, I also used to sit on the customer calls, the sales calls. So, I tried to add that point of view also, like any particular requirements, anything which customers are looking for, which we don't have or which we are still building. So I kind of make sure that part is also covered. So even all the technology team also align exactly with what we are building and who we are building for. So mostly the day starts with that, that particular day what we are working on, but mostly, there'll be a couple of, sales calls, right, where, mostly myself and a couple of people from the sales team also do the demo. So it could be like first call will be mostly from the kind of introduction kind of a call, like kind of a discovery call to figure out exactly what is their problem statement and how Fyno fits into their problem statement. And only if that call, if you're realizing, OK, that is a fit, then subsequent calls will be with, with the broader team where technology, technology team, product team, someone senior from the organization also will join from the client side, right. And these different types of calls happen over a period of time, so those calls also I used to attend. And other than that also, I'll be working closely with business team and design team to figure out what we are building for, because those things are work in progress but we need to figure out like what is going to come up in the next month and so on, right. So for that, I'll be working closely with my design team members to kind of figure out the user experience bit, UI bit. And so those kind of things also happen. And over and above that, I work with business teams on the marketing communication, like how you want to pitch, how you want to on board the users, you are kind of signing up, right, how to make sure that the existing customers are informed about what all new product features you're thinking of, right. So basically, now it's not a B2C kind of marketing, but its purely sending emails and sending Slack communication to the customers who actually expect certain features and which we are in the process of rolling out, right. So that the entire marketing communication bit also I get involved with the business team to make sure that it is going to the respective clients. So yeah, I mean, so its a match of sales, marketing, product, design and so since it's a small startup, I kind of get involved in lots of things. So this is what it is currently, right. And second is also kind of have discussion with the founders to figure out exactly where we are going right in the long term point of view, where we are heading and for that what we need to plan. So all those stuff also happen, but not on day to day basis, but on a regular basis to make sure that I am clear exactly what are the areas I need to focus on, right. So this is how currently at least my day goes on. For example, if we compare that with a B2C company like Caratlane or Hopscotch or FanCode, right, so there it’s lot of data right because it’s B2C like you need to understand exactly where you are at in terms of revenue, your user growth, the clear metrics in terms of user growth and conversion. So mostly my day starts with looking at different dashboards and numbers where we are, right. Is there any red flags in terms of conversion numbers, final numbers, how different platforms are working? So my day starts with looking at different dashboards, the different tools like MixPanel and the Looker and all the other different tools we have used. And so then we basically based on any red flags then obviously we have to figure what actions we have to take because there might be a drop in the marketing traffic, or there might be a drop in the funnel, so we need to talk to the respective marketing team or technology team to figure out, OK, what happened right, to understand and how to fix it immediately. So these things, that is how the day starts and subsequently, obviously, I'll be sitting with my team, right, my product team to figure out exactly what are different initiatives which is going on, where we are at in terms of progress. Is there any blockers? Is there any inputs required from my end, right, for them to proceed? Right. And also I work closely with my counterparts, my Head of Engineering, Head of Design, Head of Marketing to understand the plan for the subsequent month, or subsequent quarter. So that we used to brainstorm a lot saying, OK, these are the things work in progress, these are the things we want to do to achieve so on targets, for that what are the initiatives we can do? So we kind of brainstorm and then pitch it to the senior leadership, the CEO, the COO, saying OK, this is what we are looking at and get their inputs. Kind of rework if there is any changes suggested by them, right. So, so this is how I mean, the B2C side is slightly different because data plays a bigger role, which is currently not where I'm working. Because since we are a small start up, there's not enough much data also. And in B2C the data plays a much bigger role and over and above that, since the team’s also much bigger, you have lots of different stakeholders which you have to, for example, when it comes to Caratlane, you have merchandizing team, we have supply chain, operations team, right, customer service team where you need to talk to understand customer issues and so on. So there are lots of different touch points in a B2C company, particularly when it comes to company like Hopscotch or Caratlane, which is ecommerce, right compared to FanCode. So and yeah, and during this they will use the multiple different tools, right. For example, like Figma for design or Mondayy for project management and kind of trackings of meetings and so on tools, tools like Mixpanel for understanding analytics and understanding where we stand in terms of user engagement, attention and tools like Miro for mostly, from the brainstorming point of view because generally I love to do white boarding office also at home also, I used to have my white boards, I keep on writing whatever comes to my mind. So Miro kind of replicates digitally, right. And is also a good collaboration tool where you can kind of put down your thoughts and kind of collaborate with the different team members who sit at different locations, right. Mostly this happens when we are building a future or building a road map and kind of broadly thinking of certain ideas where you need a little more structure to it, right. So for these things, I use Miro a little more than other tools.

9:24 - Taapsi

So it seems like when it comes to your B2B experience, its more hi-touch as expected, the ticket sizes are larger, right? The engagement is longer because of the B2B set up. So that's why, you know, a good part of your day is distributed towards customer success where again, like the stakes are higher, whether it's attending sales calls or trying to figure it out with the product team or the business side in terms of how to acquire more and retain. So I can see that being being a significant differentiator in how your day is set up in, in these two spaces. So as a product strategist now at Fyno, what has been the most rewarding part of your work so far? What have you enjoyed?

10:15 - Vivek

See the ambiguity is very high so that is something I enjoy because I am responsible to defend that or clear the ambiguity right, and figure out exactly what you want to do. I mean that is something a little new for me and challenging also. Atleast in other firms, atleast we have certain direction, for example we know we are selling jewellery, or [inaudible] but obviously we are expanding that portfolio and building lots of other stuff, and still figuring out the product market fit so we know exactly what we're doing now. But there's a huge scope to do a lot more than what you're currently doing. So that is the ambiguity comes in also and that is kind of challenging for me because I need to figure out exactly where we need to go from this point on and obviously I will be working closely with the founders, the founding member, ideate on lots of different things and see OK, where we are at, what are the potential opportunities available and what areas we can explore, right. Because that is the strategy. Basically, we need to figure out like what, what direction you want to go. Then once it is decided, then obviously you have to go fast with the direction. So that is a challenging point. And second would be attending sales calls because this is the first time I'm doing this kind of sales calls. I used to do customer calling, talking to customers as part of my previous stints, right. But that is more about understanding the user behavior, understanding the problem statements more, from that point of view. Here is more about pitching, right, proper sales, you are actually pitching your product and understand their pain points because I have been on other side, I know exactly what happens behind the scenes right, you may like the product but it might not get prioritised because of lots of other things and the backjobs. Maybe you like it, maybe you couldn’t sully it to your stakeholders because they think it is not required now. So there’s lots of things that happen when you are buying a saas product like Fyno. So I can see that happening here also right someone from the tech team or the product team, right in this. So I can see their point of view also and even they interested, I can understand their point of view, saying, OK? I like it. But currently I can't prioritise because of so and so reasons. So we’ll take a look a couple of months later. So for me also, its kind of a learning experience being on other side of the table to see how things work out. So it is challenging, but I am enjoying it also, I am learning the sales pitch part of it, like how to do that. What's the right way to do it? And so on.

12:54 - Taapsi

And if I had to flip the question and say, what have you found not that interesting or exciting, I wouldn't necessarily say challenging because it sounds like the ambiguity is something that's, you know, that is exciting and challenging. Is there's something that, you know, you could do without in your job. Is there any part of that?

13:14 - Vivek

What I would say I miss is the data part because that is, that is one of my biggest strengths, data analytics part is one of my biggest strengths. So not doing that, maybe I would say I miss that currently, at this point of time because I have been used to it for a long time, like working with huge amount of data, understanding insights and data patterns and takke actions based on that. I believe that is something I miss at Fyno.

13:44 - Taapsi

Okay, okay. All right. So, so let's talk about in your current role as a, you know, in the B2B space, you mentioned a bunch of tools that you've used in the B2C space as well. But let's talk about B2B, what do you find yourself using on a regular basis in your current profile? The different types of touch points, different tools.

14:05 - Vivek

See currently, mostly I use either Notion for documentation, like any ideation, all the stuff, for sharing within the team members and the Miro mostly for brainstorming and for me to kind of put down different thought process and structure my thoughts. So these are two tools which I currently use frequently.

14:27 - Taapsi

Got it and which tool are we gonna be talking about today?

14:30 - Vivek

So I think we can talk about Miro because that is something which I use almost on a day to day basis, right. And since it's a collaboration tool that I keep kind of putting down my thoughts just for myself also and also sometimes when I need to get input from others and I want to collaborate with others and I share it with others also. So yeah, I think we can talk about Miro.

14:50 - Taapsi

OK. So you know, before we get into a screen share, why don't you walk me through why collaboration is such an important part of what you do and who are you collaborating with?

15:04 - Vivek

See collaboration because as a, if you're a product manager, right, actually, you are collaborating with almost all the important stakeholders across the organization, right, because it's not like you decide something, I'm going to execute everything on your own, right. Maybe you can kind of trying to convert the vision of your CEO or your senior management, right. But so you have certain ideas, right, certain way of solving the problem, right. And obviously, the best thing you should do is like gather as much ideas as possible. Also what I realised personally is that more than written documents, visualisation always helps when communicating with different stakeholders because everyone doesn't like to read bigger documents. Unfortunately, that is the case, right. I mean, though I like to write a lot, but unfortunately, everyone doesn't spend that much time reading a document. So visualization again, they'll be able to easily, able to connect with the idea, easily, right? And also the tool like Miro makes it very easy to comment on whatever you want to write, like how you are commenting on a word doc or something right. on the Doctor. So from that point of view, I generally like the visualisation bit because you are able to connect with different stakeholders particularly when you are working with designers, technology, someone from marketing, someone from sales team. So everyone have their own way of understanding the problem, right? Some will be very analytical, some very creative, right. For example, talking to someone from the brand team, right, they may not be analytical, they, they think more from a creative point of view. So you should be able to connect with all the different audiences, right. So for that, I think tools like Miro or Figma, right, these tools helps you to communicate what you want to convey. And the beauty of Miro is like they do lots of different templates, kind of off the shelf templates which you can kind of just start and just basically start using it. Basically, you don't have to do, you don't have to build it from scratch, right. Just use preview.

17:12 - Taapsi

And it’s saving you time as well?

17:14 - Vivek

Yeah. Yeah. And you know, and you know, for different problems, for example, if you want to kind of, you can do a simple flow chart or you can simply do a mind map or custom user journey or you can do a two by two metrics or whatever you want right for different problems to kind of visualize in a different way. And it makes your life much easier because you can just start immediately and start putting down your ideas as soon as possible. And from that point of view, I think I really like using Miro a lot.

17:42 - Taapsi

And how did you, do you remember how you first came across Miro? How long has it been?

17:50 - Vivek

It’s been I think, four to five years, four years plus, I think, not more than that. I don't remember exactly when I came across but, but I extensively use it for the last three to four years, for sure. Right. And, before that, I don't know, I never used-I used to use tools like draw.io and basic flowchart related tools and stuff I have used before but not something like Miro.

18:18 - Taapsi

So there was actually no competitor in your, in your works, you know, perspective or experience. There was no competitor before Miro.

18:29 - Vivek

So I, I don't know why I didn't use it, but I think there are competitors for Miro.

18:33 - Taapsi

No, no I know there are but in your, in your use case, you didn't use anything similar to Miro before.

18:39 - Vivek

Correct. Correct. Yeah. So I mostly used paper and pencil. I generally keep drawing, that is how I usually do it. And the Miro, I randomly came across. I don't remember exactly when did I come across but once I start using it, I really start loving it right. And it makes my life much easier.

18:56 - Taapsi

Got it. Got it. How's the learning curve of the tool? The, you know, the first time or the first few times when you started using it? Was it easy or do you feel like you had to learn it?

19:06 - Vivek

It's easy, basically, you need to know exactly what you want because they have options available. So you need to know exactly what, how you want to visually present what you're thinking, right. And that is a critical part, otherwise you will get lost because there are too many templates, you might get lost, what to use and all, so I think it's more about trial and error. You try different templates and see what works, what doesn't work, right. And then figure out OK, for this particular concept, I can use this template and go on do it.

19:37 - Taapsi

So one of the things that you said that you liked about the tool is that you can bring in many different types of stakeholders, you know, onto a single canvas and visually convey, you know, a point or or discussion. How do you feel the experience has been of other stakeholders who have had to come on to this because you've sent an invite, you know, sometimes there’s a steep-Notion, for example is not particularly everyone's cup of tea. So how would you, how has it been working with other parties in Miro?

20:09 - Vivek

See, I think compared to Notion because Notion to be honest, it's a little complicated. It's not that straightforward, you can use it for lots of things but documentation, yes, it helps a lot. But if you want to do project management, everything like it is a little more messy, I think compared to that, I think Miro for the collaboration point of view, I would say it's as easy as possible. I mean, because at best, what you are expected to do is like add, make them add comments basically, right. We want other collaborators to add comments and to see what others are commenting. Basically, you want that to be done easily, right. And I think from that point of view, I think that that's the easiest I think anyone across your can easily adopt.

20:51 - Taapsi

Got it. Got it. OK. I have a few more questions but let's get into the screen share and let me anchor my questions in what you take us through. So let me just give you permission. Give me one second. There you go. There you go.

21:10 - Vivek

Can you see my screen?

21:11 - Taapsi

Yes, I can.

21:13 - Vivek

So I'll just show you some sample ones which I have done long time back. So for example, see just start with the landing page, this is what it looks like and this is what the Miroverse is. This is something very cool and we see all the framework you can see, right. And they talk about, for example, if you want user flows like simple charts and stuff, you can just start using it. And if you want, for example, what do you say, it's a very complex one. But if you want to get into like project like circle and everything, so we can use something like this and journey map, this is something always used between product managers and designers, right. Particularly when you're doing some user research and you have to understand the entire user journey, right. These are the journey map framework. It’s really good to start with, right. And there's so many things like I mentioned that you need to know exactly what you want because otherwise you will get lost because there's so many different [inaudible] and you may end up using the wrong framework. So that is something that is a small learning curve required to understand what you want and which one suits for your requirement.

22:30 - Taapsi

Are you likely to start with a template, Vivek ,when you get into Miro, do you normally start with the template or do you start clean? How do you go now?

22:38 - Vivek

Now I start with the template because I know exactly what I want. For example, right now for you, which I have done something back, right, so I wanted to I was comparing-I used to play, I do play lots of gaming apps, right. I used to play lots of gaming apps for fun. So I am just comparing the performance of different apps right, on different parameters. So for me, I kind of went with this two by two kind of matrix. For example, I'm comparing these three apps, right. Like which is Winzo, MPL and Zubee right. So here the matchmaking is the parameter I took, which is like how fast you're matching with the player, right. And how fast other players are available to play the match. So between these two criteria, speed of starting the match and availability of the opponents, I just map saying, OK, where they sit. So like this, I kind of use for different games availability, for how the referral program works, how their SEO works, how the UI/UX is. So this because since I want to kind of put down these two customer metrics and I want to question saying, OK, where they lie? So for me, this is the best way to do it. Usually I can easily figure, OK, in terms of UI/UX, I think MPL is the best for example. So, like you mentioned, for me, I just start with the sample template, and just add whatever I want to that.

23:59 - Taapsi

So how would you search for this if you had to do something like this? What do you do? You go into Miroverse and you start typing? Is that how you start?

24:06 - Vivek

Sometimes not typing, sometimes you just browse through like what are the options available. Sometimes, I might end up finding something new which I never knew existed.

24:13 - Taapsi

Oh, so you're open to, you know, seeing different ways in which something may be represented.

24:18 - Vivek

So for example, simple things like flowchart, I know flowchart, I want to use, journey map I know journey map I want to use. But this is something. these kinds of comparisons I don’t do on a regular basis right. So I want to understand that OK, what is the best way to represent visually. So I know what I have in my mind but I want to see, OK, is there any better options available, then I'll see, OK, this is the best option based on what I want to convey, right. That's why I kind of end up with this kind of two by two matrix.

24:47 - Taapsi

Got it, got it, OK.

24:49 - Vivek

Yeah, for example, these kind of things you kind of, like the Ansoff Matrix like again, it's a different way of positioning saying, OK, where your brand stands, where your, where your competitor stands. If you want to do this kind of analysis, this is also another way of doing.

25:05 - Taapsi

Would you say, if Miro did not have a template library, I mean, it's a hypothetical question. But if it did not have its template library, would it be as helpful? Do you think think?

25:20 - Vivek

There will be a little, a little more friction for sure because you are kind of building everything from scratch, right. You're building the entire framework from scratch, right. And so that, and there is no right or wrong way to do it, right. And sometimes you miss out on some great ideas also because you just do based on whatever, you know, right. And you have the past experience, you may not discover something like for example, what I discovered with Miro now, right. I might, I might end up doing it in something different way also. So I think for people who are starting with Miro, surely it kind of breaks the ice and I should be able to start, it kind of breaks that I mean, that adoption rate is much, much higher, will be much, much higher because of this ready made templates available, right. And doing it from scratch because there are lots of other tools then basically we are competing with lots of other existing tools, right. Because I don't want to build a flow chart from scratch. I don't want to [inaudible] each and every block, right. That's, that's very cumbersome and having a template like this, right, makes my life easier. I can just click and start using it, right.

26:31 - Taapsi

Right. So but it seems like it's not just for new users, even for you who's an existing user, you've been using it for four to five years, like you said, it is helpful to start with templates. So templates are, I mean, it might be fair to say that that is Miro's mode. The thing that will make people, you know, kind of stick around with this is the template library keeps growing and it gives you a faster starting point. So I have a related question. So we've talked about how you might bring people into Miro, right, in order to visually see something that's in your head, right, a representation. How much time would you say, or how often are you building templates for other people to see and experience versus templates for your own brainstorming needs, would you say, in Miro?

27:24 - Vivek

See for others, it will be like maybe a couple of times a month. It's not like on day to day because generally you kind of build it when you are collaborating for a bigger project where you need everyone's inputs, right. That is when you need to have that kind of collaboration. Sometimes, sometimes I put my own thoughts, right, that is kind of on a day to day basis. Whatever I think of certain things where I am not clear of how to structure it, I need more structuring to my thought process, there I kind of play around with different templates and see OK, how it fits with and how it can reframe that thought process because for me it’s very critical because I need to be clear on what ideas I need to be working on before even inviting others to collaborate, others will be more confused. So my usage is more frequent compared to how much I collaborate with others through Miro.

28:19 - Taapsi

Is Miro always open? Like is it like a tab? Is it, is it like your white board, like you said, right. The white board is always in the wall. Is it something is always open or is it something that you need to open when you feel like, OK, OK, I need to think about something, let me open up the app. What’s your engagement like?

28:35 - Vivek

For me, it’s always open, I mean, it's not like I use it on day to day basis but that tab is always open. Depends on what I am working on, what I am thinking.

28:48 - Taapsi

Got it. So if I had to get into Vivek's head right now as product strategist, you have the tab open, it's just for you. What would be or what has been the most recent template that you have used or looked for in Miro for something?

29:05 - Vivek

Recent tabs…so I think I was looking not for any framework as such because like you mentioned that since we are in a stage where I do lots of market research, right, with competitors and with the new ideation and everything, right. So I kind of create a comparison chart with multiple competitors or what are the different areas you want to work with, right, and then kind of compare and contrast thing saying, OK, what are the things is similar to what you, what others are already doing? And what are the areas kind of where we can play basically, where there is no big competitors as such, where you can kind of focus our efforts on?

29:55 - Taapsi

And would you, would you build that from scratch? Like is that, did you just open up a new board, blank canvas and start creating frames? Is that it?

30:03 - Vivek

No, I think I, I use some board, I need to check. No, I didn't use it from scratch as such, right. And I needed something where something like this, right. Where I, where I have to compare, for example, something on this lines, basically here I am comparing these are the different let’s say product features being offered, these are the different competitors, for example, at the x axis and whether who is playing in this area, for example, right. And so this kinds of give us, gives you a summary, OK, what are the areas which is crowded, which are the, which others are doing, which is not being done. So it kind of helps me to figure, OK, these are the areas which I can focus on. At the stage we are in, that kind of research I do, currently I am doing a lot more.

30:56 - Taapsi

You know it’s so interesting Vivek, because as CEO of Poocho, I'm also constantly in strategy mode. I'm constantly thinking about competitors, you know, sales calls. So what you're saying, I get it. I'm living your life to a certain extent. I'm not a product strategist. But I do this in Notion for me, I don't do it visually. So it is very interesting to, to hear that you have Miro open and the same database, that in line database that I would create in Notion to start mapping out, you know, who's in what space and what does a grid look like, you're doing this in, in Miro, and the benefit for Miro I guess is you're seeing post-its right. I imagine you're just putting post-its or you know, or, or some elements basically things and that is how, would you say that is how you that's how things stick for you now, is visually looking at stuff?

31:56 - Vivek

Correct, because again I feel more comfortable with Miro than Notion, I guess. And even for all these things, for me the go-to tool is Miro. Notion I do generally if I want to do some documentation or certain things which I need to share with the product group. More from the documentation point of view, Notion is my go-to tool but more from ideation poitnt of view, Miro is always my go-to tool.

32:23 - Taapsi

Got it. So can we kind of drill down a little bit more into a blank? If you can just pull up any template, it doesn't matter which one, maybe this one. And I just had a few specific questions that I wanted to ask you.

32:41 - Vivek

OK. OK. This is the template.

32:45 - Taapsi

All right. No. So let's open it up at the canvas level. Yeah. So if you are in a canvas of Miro, what are the, what are some? Yeah, sure. What are some features that you're using on a regular basis because now Miro has started offering a lot more, not only has it integrated with AI, like every other product tool has, but it also has, you know, calls that you can do, you know, within Miro and you know, collaboration though is there only, but now you can even record calls and you know, do video conferencing model. What are you mostly using? What features on the canvas are you mostly using?

33:24 - Vivek

For me, I don’t think I am using it for calling and all the other purposes, atleast for now. So for me, it's like you mentioned, it's more about the ideation and collaboration. That is my primary go-to tool for primary usage for Miro as such. And other than that, I think for anything else which is happening outside this space, I use different tools. So I don't think, I don't think I even explored those options with Miro because maybe I, maybe I didn't find that value. At least at this, at this point of time, I'm not seeing much value.

34:00 - Taapsi

Got it. So when it comes to collaboration, are you telling me the biggest thing that you're doing here, once you've set it up, you've used your post its, your colors and you basically set up your canvas, then share is that it like, is that how you're collaborating or are you doing presentation mode or like how are you actually collaborating? Like what are you using on Miro to collaborate?

34:19 - Vivek

A couple of things, one, for example, if you want to, let's say, like you mentioned that when you're, when you're doing competitor analysis, right. So when I do it generally, I kind of show it to my founders in a meeting. This is how the comparison looks and these are things which we can focus on and all those stuff, right? So there the presentation plays a bigger role because I want them to, I want them to understand what I'm trying to do and also give their inputs.

34:47 - Taapsi

Are they sitting in the same room with you or is this a virtual call? Like how are you actually presenting to them?

34:52 - Vivek

As of now here, it's mostly on the same room, right. It has been virtual also. Once it is done, then what happens is that obviously, I take their inputs also. Say if you want to circulate this to a broader group, right, to get more feedback or saying, OK, this is what we have decided, this is what we are going for and why are you working on so on, and if they have any feedback or comment, they can share. Then there comes to collaboration bit where anyone who’s invited to collaborate can share their comments, and then maybe if anything interesting comes up with the comments, we kind of work on it and updating, saying, OK, these are the things we have updated and this is what we're going to go ahead with.

35:36 - Taapsi

Got it. So basically you're going to present mode, share it with your founders, maybe they leave a few comments, you leave some comments over there, maybe reorganize some information based on, you know, the decisions that you guys have taken together and then you go to share and you add other teammates. Is that what's happening to the board?

35:54 - Vivek

Yeah. Correct. So certain things like mentioned, when you need inputs from the founders first [inaudible] saying, OK, this is what we are working on. Then obviously I need to do the presentation for a smaller group to get the buy in. Then once the buy in is done, it will be presented to a larger group. In certain cases, let’s say we’re working on a product feature, so there maybe I'll just start with sharing with everyone. I may not have an initiall meeting with the founder saying, OK, this is what you're doing because that is already being discussed. And so this is what we want to build and this is the concept I have built for the particular feature. Now I'll share it with everyone saying, OK, now share your idea.

36:33 - Taapsi

So once, yeah, so let's say you shared with eight people, OK, like across different stakeholder groups. How are they giving you feedback? Are they leaving comments in the canvas itself or are you then having a follow up actual meeting where you put this up on a board? And now you're talking through the ideas, how is the actual collaboration happening?

36:53 - Vivek

See the first point is always do the comment first. Important thing is because let’s say someone from sales team might be giving a comment and same comment someone from marketing team also might be thinking about. So commenting, we will figure out always exactly what others are thinking, you might get the idea what are the different comments being shared, and you might get some idea based on the comments also. Its important to encourage to put as much comments as possible and then we kind of collate all the comments which we feel like we can discuss a little more on that. Then it goes to the next part, which can be a real meeting, or it can be messages in the Slack and so on depending on the type of thing you're working on. But I, I always prefer comments to be done first because I want that involvement from other team members also to spend time and put comments then as the next step you collate, and yeah, then figure out what to do next.

37:59 - Taapsi

So it's not like in you know, when someone leaves a comment, are you replying to the comment in, in Miro itself or are you then collating it and then having a conversation? I guess what I'm trying to get at is, is the experience on Miro for commenting, conducive for multiple comment threads in your mind, like is it a good experience or a helpful experience or do you usually just use this for first level comments and then things move on to another platform?

38:31 - Vivek

So I try to reply as much as possible within the comments itself because certain comments, certain comments, I mean, they might be giving certain idea which we, which we might don't want to do at that point of time. So I need to kind of kind of mention that thing, OK, this may not be this may not be something we can do now, for example. Certain comments, maybe I need some clarity, I need to ask a few more questions and they can play on and so on, right? So I try to reply as much as possible within the comments itself. And the subsequent meeting would be to kind of give everyone a clear idea saying, because you may not look at each and every comment, right? You might miss other comments also so that the the subsequent meeting is to help everyone to bring on the same page. that okay, these we are the things we considered, these are the things we didn’t consider, this is the final kind of concept note we are looking at. So almost everyone is one the same page.

39:35 - Taapsi

If there was anything that you would like to see incorporated, or integrated into Miro that you don’t already see, is there anything like that that comes to mind or that you've thought about that's missing?

39:48 - Vivek

See, for me, I would say the templates can be a little more simplified, like can be grouped a little more easier. So people won't get lost in the list of templates, right. So I think that would be, I think that is one thing I would suggest that they can make a little more the grouping can be much better currently, right. And that is one other than that, I think collaboration between maybe between, I don't know currently whether they have collaboration between tools like Figma or Notion because generally, I have seen lots of designers also use Miro board for the user research, all right. And this user research, you have to convert it into Figma designs basically, and that might get converted into a product requirement document, which is PRD, in Google Docs or in Notion, right. So we're linking between these three, right. Because that's the kind of value chain I can see, across designers, product team, technology team, everyone. So everything is kind of linked. That would be great if you're able to link, if you do any changes in the design that should reflect in my Figma and in the PRD right, basically, all three are coupled, right. So particularly when you do when, when the, when the company user research and user design along with the product requirement documents.

41:19 - Taapsi

Got it, got it. And at the template level, the the better grouping is it just a a factor of just too many templates or do you actually believe that the wording is, is different? Like they need to rethink the nomenclature of how they're putting templates out?

41:35 - Vivek

I would say a too many, templates also because the grouping could be based on they can do it based on industries or [inaudible]. So it could be based on industries. And so that would be easy for me to kind of relate saying, OK, this is something I can look at, right. And so on, right.

41:56 - Taapsi

OK. OK. That makes sense. That makes sense. Ok. Is there in addition to, you know, we can we can stop the screen share right now actually, just some general questions as we wrap up. Yeah. So this was fascinating, you know, how you use Miro, especially the fact that you use it for everything for, you know, just anytime there's a thought that's, that's your go-to space to put ideas down and think through things. What would you recommend to people who are getting into product strategy? You know, even if they’re CEOs, founders thinking about using tools to help them ideate better, you have Miro. Are there other things that are also helping you ideate better or would you say that Miro is good enough, there's, there's not much in your, in your tool get beyond that for the ideation, brainstorming part?

42:52 - Vivek

See, I would say, I think, depends, I think it depends on the strength of each and every individual because everyone may not be inclined to visual representation of stuff. There maybe someone who’s strong in writing a crisp document and they can use simple images within a document to convey what they want to convey. Personally what I've seen is like, it's, you have to understand what your strength is and play with your strength. Certain things, which you are not comfortable with. Some people might be directly going with Figma. I've seen people directly doing designs in Figma, they kind of look in all the screen should look how the page should look and so on. That's their way of doing it, right. So I think tools, I think tools again it;s the means to communicate right at the end of the day, it's just a means to communicate and it's up to you exactly what you think is the right tool for you. And again, for example, maybe some certain companies may not want to get Miro licenses as simple as that. Next time I join somewhere where they don't have Miro license so I can't use Miro, right. Then I have to figure out what else I can use. So I think adaptability should be there because tools are like every company has their own way of purchasing different tools based on the costing structure and so on. Right? And I believe, I think whatever works for you and obviously it's very important to understand what works within the company also because I can’t use Miro if no one is interested in using Miro, then there’s no point in using Miro. Maybe the company like Amazon use writing documents, right, that is their culture. I can't go to Amazon and share a Miro board with them. So, so it's up to the company's culture also. What fits and what works there and what's a go-to tool there, that adaptability should be there, the flexibility should be there for every PM or anyone who works in this space, right. That’s what generally I feel. It’s all about what works for you and what works for the organisation.

44:53 - Taapsi

Any last words on the role of Miro in helping you strategize better?

45:02 - Vivek

So see, I would say it helps me to put my thought process in a clear way. It helps me to organize my thought process because I like to write a lot and to kind of put down my thoughts in Miro. So it helps me to organize my thoughts. So that is what all it’s helped me compared to any other tool. So I think from that point of view, I think I would say to structure my thoughts primarily, right. And helps me visually understand what is lacking in my thought process and helps me to kind of plug that hole actually.

45:35 - Taapsi

Yeah. So the templates are both a blessing and a curse. There are too many of them, but at the same time, there are enough of them for you to think of a different way of visualizing something that might have been in your head. So, yeah, it's, it's helpful in that regard. Vivek, thank you so much for your time. I mean, this is a late night call for the both of us and I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to do this and you know, I wish you a good night and a good rest of the week. Yeah.

46:01 - Vivek

Thanks, Taapsi. Thanks for your time. Thank you.

46:03 - Taapsi

Thank you. Bye. Good night.

PS: If you would like to talk about your favorite professional tool on our podcast, write to us at podcast@poocho.co!