Hot Takes

What’s The Cost Of Implementing A Product-Led Motion?


Smart question to ask. These days, everybody and their cousin are talking about having a Product-Led motion or being a Product-Led company.

Everybody and their cousin are also talking about the benefits of having/being one: how it lowers cost of acquisition, how most of the top-of-mind companies of the hour have it, how it’s the best way to go, and if you don’t have one you’re a dinosaur on its way to extinction.

Except: everybody and their cousin are leaving out one itty-bitty detail, either because they don’t actually know about it or because they are incentivized (in some direct or indirect way) to actually push it under the rug.

The detail: building a Product-Led motion is incredibly expensive, from pretty much all perspectives.

What a Product-Led motion does, is–at its core–moving a series of OpEx expenses into CapEx ones. To build an effective Product-Led motion, you need to have a very clear and solidified idea of:

  1. The happy path to value from an onboarding perspective for your customers,
  2. Where the monetization levers are.

With that, you need to hire boatloads of engineers as well as product and design resources to work for several quarters if not years into codifying all of that into the product… which will cost you multiple million dollars of upfront investment to execute on before you see a single dollar of return.

Don’t have every single one of those things? Might not be the right time to be a Product-Led company.

Are you going to go extinct because of it? Not necessarily, no.