Sep 21, 2023
The Productboard Alternative for Startups in 2023
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Raphael Fleckenstein
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Productboard is a great tool for product management and started as one of the first players on the market to have user feedback deeply integrated into their information architecture. It feels like they invented connecting feedback to tickets on the roadmap and helped teams build truly better software with it. We really admire them for it.

However, before we started Productlane, we had a close look at the market and saw a large portion of it wasn’t served anymore by Productboard:

Small- to medium-sized companies.

Focus on large Enterprises

In recent years, Productboard has primarily focused on serving the needs of enterprises with 1000s of users, which has resulted in SMEs not receiving adequate support and access to essential features. As a result, these smaller businesses have faced challenges in using Productboard effectively to manage their product development and strategy.

No Linear integration

This is also a reason why they don’t support Linear yet and likely don’t plan to do so. It’s a different target audience, as Linear is mostly used in startups and medium-sized companies.

We started Productlane two years ago, as we didn’t see any Alternative that works with Linear. You need that tight connection to an issue tracker if you don’t want to introduce another place where you maintain the same things.

We’re the first tool that started exclusively with Linear and even raised funding with that limitation. That limitation turned out to be why we became the default solution for Product Discovery of companies using Linear.

Productlane is built to fit into Linears unique architecture and two-way mirror issues, links, projects & roadmaps to make insights directly visible for engineers. You can even log in with Linear; try it out:

Duplicate functionality to your issue tracker

Productboard is turning more and more into an issue tracker. While we can’t say for sure if they try to replace Jira or Linear one day, they are building more and more functionality in that direction.

Roadmaps or timeline views are already in most issue trackers, and the same for Sprint planning or issue estimations.

Not enough focus on user research

This creates another problem: as soon as your company scales and hires the first designer, researcher, or someone else who does discovery calls, they will likely implement another system like Dovetail or EnjoyHQ to process their research.

You will end up with Dovetail, Productboard, and your issue tracker, meaning 3 places with user feedback, leading to unclear priorities and lots of busy work.

With Productlane, we try to stay out of the issue-tracking space and only build the necessary functionality of connecting feedback with issues and projects from your roadmap to keep things in sync and up-to-date.

The main tool for your delivery workflow will stay your issue tracker, and Productlane will be the single source of truth to collect and process all user research and feedback.


Because of all those features related to issue tracking, Productboard's interface became hard to use over time. For many, it became overwhelming and difficult to find what they needed.

Productlane is a better alternative because it has an opinionated interface similar to Linear. The design is simpler and in the background, focusing on the most important tasks and removing unnecessary elements that don’t help you with your product discovery.


Productboard's pricing is often considered too expensive. One of the main reasons is that their plans are designed for larger companies, which means smaller teams may find them prohibitively expensive. Additionally, Productboard's feature set may include functionalities that some teams may not need, resulting in paying for unnecessary features.

Productlane offers more affordable pricing options, including a free plan, that cater to a wider range of budgets, making it a preferable choice for startups and smaller businesses.

Lack of integrations

Productboard might never plan to support integrations with platforms like Notion or HubSpot because they focus on larger enterprises. This approach might not fit the needs of smaller companies that rely on those applications.

Productlane is positioned as a better alternative as it understands the diverse requirements of different-sized businesses and supports essential integrations like Notion and HubSpot. This makes it more suitable for smaller companies seeking seamless collaboration and data management across multiple tools.


In summary, Productboard is a good tool for managing products, especially for larger companies. However, smaller businesses are not well-supported and lack integration with platforms like Linear, Notion, or HubSpot. Productlane is better for startups and smaller companies because it understands their needs. It works well with Linear, has a simpler interface, focuses on user research, and offers more affordable pricing. With Productlane, businesses can collaborate easily and manage their data effectively across different tools.

Sign up for a free Productlane account here!