Don’t Start Product Development Until You Do This
Why we so often fail to make products worth buying.
I get it. Product Development is fun.
It’s the excitement of creating a new product, the joy of designing a new way of doing [insert task here], the starting line of limitless possibilities.
You say to yourself, “I am going to develop a whole new way to do the dishes!” or “I know how to make the perfect project management software.” and you take off. You tell your start-up-savvy friends, you might even throw the idea to your significant other.
As fun as it is, the reality is you don’t know if your big, new idea will provide anything of value to anyone. We can come to know an idea’s worth by focusing on the customer. This is where we can learn a very valuable lesson. Before product development you should focus on customer discovery.
Before product development you should focus on customer discovery.
Bring your idea to a potential customer (that’s an idea, not a product ie. a solution). Take the time to sit with them and discover what they need. If you are tactful, the customers you interview can end up creating the product and it’s purpose for you.
If you are tactful, the customers you interview can end up creating the product and it’s purpose for you.
Ask questions to discover what is working and what is not. What are the bottlenecks in their business? Why did they settle on their current solution? Etc.
Take note and seek to find problems and their solutions as you talk to customers.
A lot of products fail, never needing to have been made, because they are not built for a customer. As product people or job is to build useful, beautiful products that people will purchase. Take the time to nail down the needs of the customer it right and it will pay off immensely.
Remember: Customer Discovery before Product Development.