Debate

What Type of Feedback Should You Weigh More When Planning Your Product Horizon?

Product managers collect so much information, and from so many sources. Whether it’s highly qualitative user interviews or big data from product analytics, feedback just keeps landing on their proverbial desks. And this is just the feedback they asked for. On top of that, there’s plenty of unsolicited feedback; this could come from users or competitors, but a lot of it is internally generated, coming from eager salespeople or customer success folks desperate for answers.

With all this feedback, you can hit analysis paralysis. If you’re planning a product horizon, which feedback is more important? External or internal?

In our poll, 85% of you believed the external feedback is more important, and that was also the opinion of both of our debaters. They both refer to the fact that even internal feedback essentially external feedback relayed by internal sources. But, out there in the product wild, there’s still 15% who believe internal feedback is more important — are you one of them? Tell us in the comments!

External

There is no internal feedback without external feedback. Your colleagues are just intermediaries between you and your customers/prospects. Just make sure your colleagues don't provide feedback skewed by biases and attributed to non-existing user segments.

Hubert Palan
CEO, ProductBoard
External

The most important thing is to understand your users’ intent, business needs, emotions, etc. So external feedback is critical. Get it in every way and form. Internal feedback is also important - especially from people who talk to users (support, sales, etc.) -- but again, that's a form of getting external feedback.

David Schwartz
VP Product, Wix
User Comments