Validating Opportunities is Product Management

Luke Anderson is co-founder of Cann.


It started with a bad pot brownie in college, and it ended up with the world’s first-ever micro-dose THC beverage. It turns out that Luke Anderson, co-founder of Cann, wasn’t the only person who wanted to moderate his alcohol consumption, have fun, socialize, and not be nursing a hangover the next day.

“When you’re developing products, you often want to start for developing it for an N of one or two, and then testing it outward,” he says. “We knew that we wanted to drink something that could get us a tiny bit intoxicated, but not have any physical harm and not leave you feeling debilitated the next day. And you do a little bit of consumer research and figure out if that’s a problem that people want to solve.”

Apparently, it’s a problem 80% of adult drinkers do want to solve, he says. “When you go back to the original idea of designing this for just yourself, chances are, if you feel like there’s an emotional need for something and you would put your hard dollars behind it, there are other people out there, too.”

So Luke and his partner set about validating the opportunity and developing their product. They began by testing flavors in focus groups of their friends, then bit by bit, they expanded the group of taste-testers.

That’s also how they launched the product: “We tried to be lean and agile and do everything in just a small room with the two of us and our hands at first … My recommendation, anytime you’re considering a product launch, is don’t have so much going on that you can’t tell — if it goes well or poorly — why. When I was training CPG executives in how to assemble agile teams to shorten an 18-month product launch cycle into a three-month with a tenth of the budget, that was really the lesson.”

Luke has applied a lot of CPG lessons to developing a pretty unique cannabis product. Learn more about Cann’s development in a heavily regulated industry and how the process is similar to creating tech — as well as the best types of lemons and oranges, and where to buy “cannabis in a can” — on this episode of This Is Product Management.

Download the transcript

Here are some highlights:
  • Why a cannabis beverage?
  • Guardrails on developing a cannabis drink
  • The best kinds of lemons and oranges
  • Launching products in a regulated industry
  • Get 25% off a purchase of 30 or more with code TIPM25! (Available for California residents ordering DTC only).

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