Reading time: 5 minutes

Lyndon Maher is a consultant helping startups to optimise their product management, and was recently the Director of Product Management at Domain Group, Australia’s digital property portal. Domain was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in November 2017, but Lyndon says that despite being a large company majority owned by Fairfax Media, Domain’s success can be owed, in part, to its startup mentality.

We spoke to Lyndon about what it was like working for such a corporate, the importance of user experience (UX) and why founders should focus on building a team of ambassadors.

Lyndon Maher, former Director of Product Management at Domain


While most people jump ship from a big corporate to a startup, you did the opposite, going from the startup Bigcommerce to Domain. What was your reason for heading back into a corporate setting?

I loved being in startup land. But Fairfax’s mission with Domain was to create a startup within a corporate, so right from day one it was separated off and given direct investment and its own management function, strategy, vision and brand new people, including myself.

In many ways, it was a B Series startup. If it was publicised as a startup getting funding, it would have rivaled some of the best startups at the time, in terms of investment. Domain had a great brand and great customer loyalty. It was already earning great revenue and was semi-successful off a low investment base. But the website itself hadn’t really changed in about seven years.

With startups, sometimes you might be struggling to get your first customer to validate things. Because we had quite a large customer base, we could run experiments with really significant data samples and learn a lot from that.


What’s the most valuable thing you learnt from being in a startup that helped you at Domain? It sounds like, from what you’ve said, that might have been figuring out what a corporate with a startup mentality looks like.

Startups are incredibly good at being customer-focused, especially ones that are really getting traction, because they spend a lot of time with customers. Some corporates and more established businesses can forget the importance of spending time with customers.

In my first week at Domain, I was already out on the road meeting real estate agents. My team spent at least 20% of our time each week with customers and we approached it as a partnership. We talk about a partnership because if our customers are successful, we’re successful.

You also need a ‘always be pitching’ frame of mind. When you’re working with startup co-founders who are always pitching their products to VCs or customers, there’s a real sense of passion and ambassadorship that you pick up. Bring that into a business, be the ambassador and build a team of ambassadors that are always pitching. It creates a really good energy.


You’re vocal about the importance of UX. What’s a product you’ve loved recently?

Go back five or six years, even a bit longer, UX was an emerging field of expertise. Whereas today, the expectation is that you need UX as a core capability. I could easily spot 20 or 30 companies who are doing great UX because it’s the norm. But consumers have great expectations and they won’t forgive a bad experience.

I’m very interested in micro-UX: how companies are looking at really specific, task-based experiences. So a really simple example is you’ve booked a hotel on a website. You look at the hotel on Google Maps when you’re going to check in and see your reservation details on the map when you click on the hotel.

Optimising those micro-experiences is really fascinating. When you actually apply them on scale to a product, that’s when you have amazing experiences.

If we noticed someone screenshotting a property in the Domain app, that told us that they’re trying to do something the product didn’t quite provide for. Are they looking to share it with someone? Are they wanting to favourite that property and save it for later? To me, it’s about finding those little diamonds.


What can startups learn from corporates like Domain, and vice versa?

As you scale and grow and you start to become distracted by scale, don’t lose sight of the customer. Don’t be an armchair product manager. Get out on the road, talk to people, get to know your customer more than you know them today.

As you grow, you can lose sight of understanding what’s not working in your product. Have a critical eye. I get just as excited killing product features as shipping them. You want to be always monitoring current products and understanding if there’s any areas in which you’re falling short. If you don’t do that, and you keep adding things to the product, it very quickly becomes bloated. You end up with this Frankenstein product that isn’t providing the most immediate value.


Want to know more about growing and scaling your company? Download LegalVision’s free startup manual or online business manual today.


Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Brittney Rigby
Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards