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Photo by Alexandru Acea on Unsplash

Helping Product Managers win.

This new startup uses AI and ML to gather customer feedback from disparate sources and provide actionable insights.

Lots of startups have failed because the engineering team built the product they thought the world wanted, and they were wrong. Other startups have failed because the sales team said yes to every customer request and the engineering team quit in disgust.

So the typical Silicon Valley organizational structure today is to have a Product Manager (or product management team), who owns the product and makes the decisions about which features to add, which to remove, etc. A Product Manager’s job is to stay very close to customers, listen to customers, understand customers, and then synthesize all that into a product roadmap for the engineering team to follow.

The challenge is that in today’s world is that customer feedback is all over the internet — it’s Yelp reviews, App Store reviews, Twitter posts, G2 reviews, and more. It’s also in internal platforms like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Intercom. And it’s happening in real-time, sometimes at extreme velocity. A Product Manager could spend all day looking at all product input from 100 different sources and by the time he absorbed it all and created a summary document, it’s already obsolete.

So when I first met Vijay Viswanathan, Founder and CEO of Theme.io, I understood the problem he is solving immediately. In today’s world, agility and rapid iteration is what wins. Vijay’s product serves as a digital assistant for Product Managers, scouring the internet for product feedback all day every day, and using AI and assisted Machine Learning to present real-time insights. Most importantly, they are actionable insights that Product Managers can use.

It’s accepted wisdom today that product development should be informed by the needs and expectations of actual customers. A simple concept that can be daunting to execute when you’ve got a firehouse of feedback coming at you from a hundred different directions. Fortunately, Vijay’s new product makes this dramatically easier, for Product Managers everywhere.

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Stanford • 4thly • Miller Center

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