Can product work be done remotely?

Abby Sullivan Dec 9 2019

Today, subscription fitness yet again pushes the limit. Plus, Abstract launches a beta integration of Adobe XD. And remote work expert Marie Prokopets puts a lens on remote product work.


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Remote product work: to be or not to be?

We’ve covered a lot on remote work in its entirety.

Because its popularity has grown immensely over the years. According to a 2018 Upwork study, 63% of U.S. companies now have remote workers.

Nearly 30% of all startups with roles posted on AngelList, as of August 2019, were hiring for remote roles. 

At FYI, the document navigation platform, they surveyed 486 people about remote work and learned that people absolutely love working remotely

And since there’s so much fandom over it, Marie Prokopets of FYI is digging specifically into the realm of remote work in product. Because working remotely for product teams is not the norm. Certain aspects of product work make it particularly difficult to accomplish remotely. Most of them relate to the level of teamwork required for effective product management.

Product is highly cross-functional and collaborative, all about innovation and creativity. 

But she says hope is not lost, and increasing numbers of product roles are moving toward remote work. The days of in-person whiteboard sessions may be numbered, at least for some. But as the shift to remote work happens in product, teams will need to make changes to ensure everyone’s continued success.

There’s no doubt there are conflicting opinions on the status of remote work, but Marie is a master in that field. Not only does she dig into remote work for product, but remote work for all. 

To explore the power of remote, we have a ProfitWell Report that looks at just over 3,000 subscription and SaaS companies, with the type of study we know we’ll lose friends over (even though there’s an incredible amount of nuance here). 

And an episode of Tradeoffs with FYI’s Hiten Shah (who also happens to be a remote work master) with our CEO Patrick Campbell on the shift required for going remote. 


An Abstract integration

Abstract—design collaborators who’ve raised more than $54 million in funding—announces that Adobe XD files can now be versioned and managed alongside Sketch files. 

Abstract has become the catalyst for design transformation within companies like Cisco, Intuit, Salesforce, Zappos, Instacart, and thousands more. 

The expansion of the XD integration into public beta follows a successful private beta, where Abstract saw thousands registering to participate.

The problem Abstract plans to address is about the digital product design workflow, which includes developers, product managers, content strategists, and other stakeholders. It’s splintered across file management tools, buried within emails and Slack threads, or left to undocumented, offline conversations. 

So Abstract is pioneering a world in which product teams can bring their toolkits into an organized and customizable nucleus.

“From Sketch to now, Adobe XD files, Abstract is bringing all the key players in the design process in one central place where documentation can be created alongside the work, decisions can be tracked, and multiple explorations can be incorporated into a single source of truth.”


Subscription fitness gets even stronger

You know we’ve touched on subscription fitness in the past, as has Zuora’s Tien Tzuo, in that the fitness vertical is about to crack wide open. 

But we argue it already has. 

The holiday season undeniably amps up the demand for home exercise equipment and gym memberships, so it only makes sense we bring it to light here. Think Fitbit, Tonal, MIRROR, and Peloton. (And I’d be remiss not to mention the Peloton commercial that’s gained insane traction this holiday season.)

It’s not just about hardware anymore. It’s the subscription portion of the fitness that keeps these bad boys running. It’s the subscription revenue that’s driving millions into connected exercise equipment startups. And Crunchbase dropped a piece on this exact idea, pointing out that the new slew of internet-connected fitness equipment offerings with classes and progress tracking on a subscription basis allows companies to capture value—not just from the sale of physical hardware—but with long-term revenue on high-margin services over time. 

Which is yet another example of the recurring revenue model bringing it on home.


ProfitWell Report

To explore the power or lack thereof of remote, we looked at just over 3,000 subscription and SaaS companies. And as was said prior, this is the type of study that we’re going to lose friends over, even though there’s an incredible amount of nuance.

Remote company cultures have become more akin to a religion than a growth strategy with amazing people that I respect so, so very much, like DHH from Basecamp, Nick Francis from Help Scout, and Wade Foster from Zapier preaching the power of remote.

Check out the full episode with all data cuts here.

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And that’s a wrap for your December 9 subscription news. 

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By Abby Sullivan

Content Marketer

Subscription market insights you won't find anywhere else.