Creating Products That People Love
The dream of every product manager is clearly to deliver winning products. Once you get the product right, it is natural that good sales figures, high revenues, and great profits should follow. There is usually little you can do to promote success if you get this wrong.
Building great products is difficult, but it is not impossible. What can you do to improve your chances of creating products that people love? We present here what experienced product professionals think about this.
Know the Problem
The journey of great products usually begins with determining a problem and understanding it. You shouldn’t just go ahead and build a product simply because you think people would find it useful. The crucial first step is ensuring that you are building the right solution.
Do not let yourself be carried away by how you are excited about the product you are offering. You shouldn’t have to create a problem to solve or need to explain a solution’s usefulness at length later on. Your customers should be able to figure this out on their own with minimal explanation.
Communicate with Customers
When you have defined a problem you hope to help solve, you also need to ensure it’s one that users would be excited to get help for. You have to reach out to them and ask questions. Get to understand their pain points more clearly.
When talking to customers, you should take care to ask the right questions. The focus should be to find out whether they would readily use your product. It shouldn’t be about if they would be able to use it. A customer may be able to use a product but not buy the same due to other factors, including needs, habits, and price.
An important aspect of creating products that people love is the value proposition. Successful product managers are all about providing greater value to the customer. That quality clearly sets them apart from bad PMs.
Are there other products that serve somewhat similar needs as your product? What do you expect your offering to do differently from the competition? Are there currently customers that would be excited enough to buy and can they guarantee worthwhile returns? You need to have clear answers to these questions among others.
One key to winning is knowing how to pick the right fight. If you must create products that people will love, it helps to be very pragmatic. You should be able to draw a clear line between what you can do and cannot.
Product managers that fail at building great products are often more focused on providing as many features as they can think of. They consider the features rivals are offering and seek to beat them in the game. In the end, they fail woefully at this.
On the other hand, successful product managers are able to draw a line clearly between what can and cannot be done. They provide the engineering team with useful and clear-cut guidance on what they need to build, thereby making their work easy. They not only make sure that products are worth building but also feasible.
Pay Attention to Simplicity
A high premium needs to be placed on making the life of the customer as easier as possible. Look at some of the greatest and most popular products around and you’d often find simplicity written all over them. Think of Google and Apple products.
You should aim to make the user do almost nothing to have their needs met using your product. Bring your research and available expertise to bear on determining what needs to be included or removed.
Build an MVP
It is not advisable to simply go ahead and build a final product based on your earlier work and findings. Rather, you should think of first producing a minimum viable product (MVP) that is as close as possible to the actual product.
Make this prototype available for people representing your target customers to test. Observe these users clearly and ask them questions.
After the testing, use your findings and observations to fine-tune what you already have. Consider taking out what users aren’t excited about and work on improvements they suggested or hinted.
Prototyping can help to keep you from wasting scarce resources on solutions consumers don’t want. It enables small, quick, and easier changes instead of wasting time on expensive and difficult wholesale changes.
Have a Strong Team
The importance of having the right team cannot be overemphasized when looking to build winning products. You must do all you can to have the right hands on deck for all the work involved in development. Provide direction on the right processes to follow and train your team members as necessary.
It goes beyond just having the people on the team, though. It is also vital that these people should be motivated. Make each person love what you are trying to create.
Team members shouldn’t just do their work because of paychecks. Do all you can to ensure employees are happy on the job. Make them see what value they would be created by working on products. Efforts should also be made to ensure that the work environment is less stressful.