The product of Patreon

TechCrunch | 5/7/2013 | Staff
Mkgirlz (Posted by) Level 3
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Patreon is aggressively pursuing a new three-year product vision that is, in the words of SVP of Product Wyatt Jenkins, to build “the world’s best membership SaaS product for creators.” With about 90 engineers and product managers, the company sees an opportunity to own a particular niche that’s not well served by other B2B software and is also a growing market.

In this section of the Patreon EC-1, I dive into Patreon’s product strategy, analyzing its history and current approach.

Time - Article - Minutes - Feature - Illustration

Reading time for this article is about 18 minutes. Feature illustration by Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch.

Patreon is building business software distinct to the fan-artist relationship. Creators have a base of superfans who want to support them and get special access. Creators are their business — their fans specifically want them and the content they create. This is why creators often get a manager or agent to handle their business when they find success, whereas a small business owner would normally do the opposite (become a manager and delegate product creation and customer interaction).

Creators - Business - Tools - People - Result

Creators need business tools for non-business people. As a result, Patreon’s core product includes a CRM, CMS, analytics, and payments platform with a lot of proactive guidance on what to do (like telling creators in a step-by-step manner when to, say, message certain patrons in order to reduce their risk of churning).

This is what SVP of Product Wyatt Jenkins calls “a lean-forward CRM.” It is simplified for non-technical users to navigate (lacking a lot of the flexibility other businesses want), which results in an ongoing challenge to make it more advanced without making it more complicated.

Patreon - Bit - Business - Partner - Platform

Patreon acts a bit like a business partner, not just a tech platform. In terms of human interaction, it goes beyond technical support to provide advice on business strategy, both on a creator-by-creator basis...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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