Fontainebleau – On November 30th, INSEAD finalists to the inaugural Product Games held in Singapore presented the lessons from the competition to around 25 students.

The five-member group explained how they came up with their idea for digital payments company Stripe to allow small business owners to apply to several lending platforms at once, repay and check the status of those loans.

The team’s biggest tips and takeaways from the competition:

1. Be comfortable pivoting.

“We had to shift away from an MBA mindset, where you already know what you are building upon, to thinking outside of the box. Product managers can’t just base their thinking on current facts because a lot of times things are already out of the box.” (Chris Yang, ’18J)

“Originally our idea was a peer-to-peer lending platform. But after we were selected for the finals, the main piece of advice we got was to pursue a B2B model rather than B2C. Our next hypothesis was to allow Stripe to collect user data from their small business customers and help lending platforms do underwriting. Then we realized Stripe was already doing this, so last model was to take on an aggregator function whereby Stripe allows small businesses to submit a single application and then we push that through to the lending platforms.” (Ian Guo, ’18J)

2. Understand the users.

“We could have spent more time introducing the user story. One of the questions we were asked by the judges is, ‘Have you talked to any of the users?’ It’s a good tip for real life product management.” (Rosa Wu, ’18J)

3. Presentation style counts!

4. The Games are a good way to connect with other schools and learn what it’s like to be a product manager. 

“With people from the same school, you often come up with similar ideas. Now I know people from other schools, and can collaborate with them to create new ideas. This also a great learning opportunity and also got me interested in a possible career in product management.” (Alex Little, ’18J) 

The Product Games is the first-of-a-kind product management competition with Visa as title sponsor, Prodigy Finance as associated sponsor and Stripe as knowledge partner. The finals were held in Singapore on November 20. To learn more about the competition’s origins and the winning team, visit the official blog.