The PLG Teardown—join the journey

Written by Christine Itwaru  | 



If you’re like me, your LinkedIn feed is filled with companies who are focusing on product-led growth (PLG). Though PLG is not a new strategy, it’s become more prominent over the last year as companies shift their focus to efficiency and doing more with less. In an ever-changing tech landscape where resources are constrained, all teams need to be laser focused on company OKRs in order to stay ahead, competitive, and relevant. 

This is why we decided to create “The PLG Teardown,” Pendo’s first-ever video series and one focused on winning the future with product. 

Here’s how it works: You’ve seen teardowns of hardware, cars, and cameras—with professionals disassembling cherished and brilliant objects to find out (and share) how they work. Well, the best product managers do the same with their peers’ products. On The PLG Teardown, we’ll disassemble well-known or recently launched SaaS products, but with a focus on PLG. And we’ll examine what works and what could be better. Our goal is to learn so we can improve our own products—and hopefully spark some lively debates that get other product and growth leaders engaged.

The best PLG companies create a product and experience that delivers so much value to a user that it becomes the primary driver of growth for the company. This helps them refocus human energy from sales and marketing teams who have relied on traditional tactics for acquisition and conversion in the past. Let’s not forget that PLG doesn’t just mean new customers and recurring contracts. It also means making sure you put the customer at the center by focusing on both behavioral patterns & usage data and capturing their direct feedback during their journey. 

Think about a free product you recently signed up for. Was the experience easy and delightful? Did you find value quickly and accomplish what you were looking to do, and are you going back? Did you feel compelled to share that experience with team members? Did you set a reminder for when your trial is up? 

And at the end of the day, did it feel like something you could weave into your routine because it’s that valuable and a good use of your time?

That last question is one that should stick with everyone, especially product managers. You want customers to not only spend money on your product, but to invest their time. Time = increased opportunity for conversion and retention. When customers spend valuable time in your product, you build a relationship. That, in turn, makes it easier to solicit and encourage feedback, which ultimately helps you design a better product for others. 

Good product people are always learning from others about what works and more importantly, what doesn’t, so they can drive a better experience in their own product. For those of you who know Pendo, we love sharing stories about how we Pendo on Pendo, or drink our own champagne. This time around we’re sharing insights we’re gaining from some of the biggest PLG companies out there. We’re hoping to learn how to improve our products, and to help others do the same. 

In this series, we’ll explore six core principles of PLG and take a look at how each company delivers on them.

Our principles are: 

  1. Allowing users to experience your product for free
  2. Delivering an “Aha” experience as soon as possible
  3. Committing to best-in-class usability for new users
  4. Delighting free users so much that your product becomes a habit
  5. Making purchasing feel like the user’s next natural step
  6. Building in virality at every turn

We’ll explore some companies you know, and introduce you to some you may be less familiar with. In our journey we’ve learned from companies of all types and sizes, serving different industries and customer types. We continue to believe that being product led means really putting the product at the center of everything we do. We invite you to join us in the conversation and help us help others create products people love. 

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