Product People strengthens Continuous Discovery Habits with Opportunity Solution Trees (OSTs) at Blinkist, the World's Leading Bite-Sized Edutainment Service

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The Client: Blinkist

Blinkist is a subscription-based service that offers condensed versions of non-fiction books as brief summaries or "blinks." These summaries are typically about 15 minutes long and are designed to provide users with the key ideas and takeaways from a book in a condensed format. The service offers various titles across various categories, including business, self-improvement, and psychology. Users can access the summaries on their phones or tablet through the Blinkist app or on the web through the Blinkist website. The service is intended to help users stay up to date with the latest ideas and trends in their field or learn more about a particular topic without having to commit to reading an entire book.

The Mission: Interim Product Manager

In early 2022, Victoria Busse, the newly hired VP of Product, was looking to fill a Senior Product Manager position in a team that needed to speed up Continuous Discovery. From a previous mission with Tier Mobility, Victoria knew us to quickly onboard and deliver value. Product People joined mid of February, taking over the seat as interim Senior Product Manager in Team Taco, a Mobile App Team focussed on the topic of “Connecting curious minds.” The interim SPM helped speed up the continuous discovery habits within the Product Trio but also helped to deliver vital initiatives like “Collections” and “Blinkist Connect.”

Champion Expectations

  • Do rapid learning via continuous discovery habits within the Team Taco Product Trio and cross-functional collaboration with other Product teams, BI, and CRM.
  • Blinkist’s goal was to significantly increase the so-called sticky customer base and close the leaky bucket of churning users. The solution needs to contribute to the wider engagement loop.

How We Helped

Discovering: Connecting curious minds

  • Opportunity - Native sharing. Before the Senior Product Manager joined Blinkist, the team launched native content sharing. The impact and success were not clear from the start. With BI and the App team, we built Dashboards in Periscope Data®.
  • Opportunity - Free Content Sharing. An idea was cycling around the organization we picked up with the team, free content sharing link the “5 free articles in the New York Times App”. While a full-fledged solution would have been costly to test the solution, we decided to go with a bare minimum version which should validate the hypothesis. Especially desirability and usability were in focus. The test was rolled out as a 50% A/B test to learn how free content sharing influences content consumption.
  • Activity - Continuous interviewing and surveying. The team's topic was “Connecting curious minds.” To learn continuously what drives users to connect with others over the Blinkist content, we conducted several user interviews and ran multiple surveys. The outcome was documented in Dovetail® and helped to guide the Product Trio to make the next right decisions.

Delivery: Collections

Organizing content is crucial for users as it makes them prepare for the next sessions easier, leading to better and more meaningful sessions. In the end, more content consumption leads to more stickiness and, eventually, Power Customers. We ran multiple usability tests with Prototypes and conducted user interviews on how users would like to organize their content. To learn fast and to iterate on the solution, we launched Collections with a bare minimum feature set, yet delivering the essential pieces to satisfy user needs.

Screenshot from Blinkist's App - Collections
Screenshot from Blinkist's App - Collections

Delivery: Blinkist Connect (renamed to Spaces)

We knew due to past research on “Connecting curious minds,” users would love to discuss, share and enjoy content with their family and friends together. Yet, Blinkist did not offer an easy way to make that happen. Native sharing was not designed to bring people with similar interests closely together.

To kick off what would become Blinkist Connect, the Senior Leadership team gathered the teams to conduct a workshop week. The goal was to quickly evaluate if shared plans and spaces which we know from Spotify and co, can also work in Blinkist. After the workshop, we went into a fast 4 weeks delivery cycle to ship Blinkist connect on June 13th. It very quickly showed early signs of success. Also, Blinkist Connect aimed to improve customer stickiness to create more Power Customers.

Screenshot from Blinkist App - Spaces
Screenshot from Blinkist Connect

Delivered Outcomes

💡Ran continuous discovery activities together with the Product Trio to discover business-viable opportunities that also create user value.
💡 Shipped two significant initiatives to drive user engagement, creating more Poser Customers while honoring the holistic engagement loop.

In the Client's Own Words

Used Alex as a lighthouse on how all PMs and teams should operate. Super happy with his performance and enjoyed the collaboration. Massive “Thank You” to Alex.  - Victoria Busse, VP of Product

Alex adapted super well and fast to the Taco team. Created super-fast Opportunity Solution trees. I expected it to be worse due to experience [with previous agencies/freelancers]. - Eveline Moczko, fmr. Head of Product

In the Client's Own Words

Space Crew of this Mission

VP/Director/Head of Product
Product Management Consultant
Senior Product Management Consultant

For Clients: When to Hire Us

You can hire us as an Interim/Freelance Product Manager or Product Owner

It takes, on average, three to nine months to find the right Product Manager to hire as a full-time employee. In the meantime, someone needs to fill in the void: drive cross-functional initiatives, decide what is worth building, and help the development team deliver the best outcomes.
If you're looking for a great Product Manager / Product Owner to join your team ASAP, Product People is a good plug-and-play solution to bridge the gap.