Tips from successful CTOs to create winning product strategies

By Tom Sturge

3 min read

In today's fast-paced technology industry, product success depends on having a clear product strategy and vision, innovative design and development, effective management, and strategic marketing. As a fractional CTO, it's crucial to understand and implement these elements to ensure product success.

Product Strategy and Vision

A strong product strategy and vision are essential for creating a successful product. Clayton Christensen says, "A good strategy is an antidote to competition. Strategic planning is about positioning your business to win." A clear product strategy and vision help define the product's purpose, target audience, and long-term goals. To create a successful product strategy, fractional CTOs need to understand the market, customer needs, and competition deeply. They can leverage market research, user feedback, and competitive analysis to define the product strategy and vision.


Innovation is the key to success in today's technology landscape. As Steve Jobs said, "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." Innovation can help create a unique product that stands out in a crowded market. Fractional CTOs need to foster a culture of innovation within their organisation. They can encourage employees to share ideas, experiment with new technologies and approaches, and iterate quickly.

Design and Development

Effective design and development are critical for creating a successful product. As Marc Andreessen said, "Software is eating the world because it's so much easier to build something new in software than it is to change something that exists in the physical world." To create an effective product, fractional CTOs must ensure that the design and development processes are agile, efficient, and focused on creating a great user experience. They can implement methodologies like Agile or Lean to ensure the product is built iteratively, with user feedback incorporated at each stage.


Effective product management is crucial in ensuring that a product is delivered on time and within budget. Fractional CTOs need to ensure that the product management team has a clear understanding of the product strategy and vision and that they have the necessary resources to execute the product roadmap. They should also monitor the project's progress, identify potential roadblocks, and ensure that the team has the support needed to overcome them.


Marketing is critical for creating awareness of the product, generating leads, and ultimately driving sales. Fractional CTOs must ensure that the marketing strategy moves in the same direction as the product strategy and vision. They should identify the target audience, create messaging that resonates with them, and leverage various marketing channels to reach them.

Successful CTOs like Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio, emphasise the importance of having a clear product strategy and vision. He says, "A great product strategy is not about building more features. It's about identifying the core features that solve a customer problem and focusing relentlessly on delivering that value to the customer." Similarly, successful entrepreneur and investor Marc Andreessen highlights the importance of product-market fit, saying, "Product-market fit is the only thing that matters." These quotes from successful CTOs emphasise the importance of having a clear product strategy, understanding the market and customer needs, and creating a product that solves a real problem.

To ensure the success of a product, fractional CTOs should focus on several key elements. These include establishing a clear product strategy and vision, fostering an innovative culture, implementing effective design and development processes, managing the product efficiently, and creating a marketing plan that resonates with the target audience. By prioritising these aspects, fractional CTOs can develop successful products that address real customer needs and drive business growth.