Building and improving your product
When building a product, the main thing worth focusing on is the experience, the product itself.
Marketing and sales techniques can surely add value and increase the conversion rate or pump up the numbers, but at the end of the day what matters most it’s the product itself.
“If you’re opening a hot dog stand, you could worry about the condiments, the cart, the name, the decoration. But the first thing you should worry about is the hot dog. The hot dogs are the epicenter. Everything else is secondary.” – Jason Fried (Rework)
What are the factors that make someone good at a product? How come that some products excel and stand out while others get lost in the mediocrity? We usually think that it depends on how many years a product maker studied or how much he cared. Also, we tend to consider that it can be a hidden talent, luck or some magic that helped building a great product.
The truth is that the product itself and the experience your users or customers are having with it matters the most. For this you have to learn how to build ridiculously good product and how to improve it in the future.
The approach of building a new product
In the early stages of the product development try finding out how people use that specific product and create a future customer profile by harvesting as much information about them as possible.
Forming a point of view from the beginning of development is crucial for the product to succeed.
People are different in behavior and react differently to certain products. That’s why testing your product only by yourself is not enough. It may solve your problem or needs, but can be a real pain in the neck for another use. Leave behind the intimacy of solving your own problem for the sake of solving other people’s problem. Try gathering as much opinion and reviews from users as possible.
Watch closely the testers as they use your product and notice their reaction, opinion and body language.
We may all not be philosophers, but asking and answering the following questions can lead you from discombobulated thoughts to serious conclusions and can help you set the direction you want to follow for your product:
- What problem solves my product?
- What’s the core of my product?
- What’s the main thing worth focusing on?
- What is the #1 reason people will use and stay with my product?
- How can I improve my product?
How to be great at product?
A simple exercise that you can do yourself can help you understand your customers deeply.
Think about a product you really love. And ask yourself :
“Why do I love this product?
Is it because of its’ quality, cool and unique features, solves my problem of x, great value at the right price?”
It works exactly the same way for your customers too.
Think about the market, customers, and the product itself. Examine the daily lives of your customers and interview them in their inhabitant to get an image as close to the reality as possible.
Set your point of view early on what is the opportunity you see in developing your product.
5 steps checklist for building a great product
- Identify your user’s needs: before focusing on what you’re going to build right off, take a step back. Take a user-centric approach and identify what your user’s pains are. Note that there is a huge difference between assuming and knowing what users want. Actually knowing what users want requires testing, validation, and actual conversations with your future customers.
- Solve a problem: you must describe the problem clearly, and do it from the customer’s point of view, the problem should be one the customer sees value in solving. Put yourself in the shoes of your users and find out what problems are they facing.
- Understand the core of your product: after you identified a need, have a great idea, and found potential customers it’s time to build your product. Simplify things and don’t build three features when only one will do the job. Work on making everything you already have – better, focus on the main aspect of your product.
- Make it credible: even if your product is amazing, you will need reliable sources and proof that it works, let someone else do the bragging, tell only the verifiable truth and always use specific facts instead of generalities.
- Make your product get more leads for you: offer a free trial or free content like an ebook, webinar or tutorial, is a great way to showcase your product and get leads excited.
Improving your product
How do you know if you are good at product?
The single most telling metric is if whoever your customers and users are if they love your product, feel satisfied and keep coming back than your product is good.
Decision making made easier
When you face yourself in the hard decision-making phase try using the roadmap and anti-roadmap technique. If you note down what steps you would like to follow, but also mention what are the steps you surely won’t take including the things you will never build, it will simplify making a decision for your product development.
Keep people engaged
Take a genuine interest in your customers. Ask them what they consider helpful and why. Show excitement and believe that your product is worth engaging in. Satisfy the users demand for content by providing useful information through all channels.
Stop adding features, and make everything you have better
Make baby steps. Instead of adding other features to your product try working on the existing ones and making them super problem solving. Making your product’s feature the best possible on the market will ensure that no other product can ever come out that can do a better job of solving the problem than the one that you have built and improved.
Keep re-evaluating what’s important
Always pay attention to current trends and customs. Embrace the changes that affects your user’s needs and adopt your product accordingly.
Companies that succeed always start with a great product. While the definition of “great product” is very unclear there are key tips worth remembering in every case:
- building a great product requires you to listen and understand your users
- validate ideas on needs not assumptions
- be product focused
- improve first your existing feature instead of adding new ones
Share your ideas on what do you consider important while building or improving your product or how can we make our product better for you!