The big product idea – where it all begins

I have come across several startup projects during this pandemic and thought it would be good to share some insights. We all have ideas and think we know how it should be executed. Whenever I catch up with a close family member and share a few beers, we talk about startup ideas and wonder how great it would be if we could pull it off. I must admit some of it is just pie in the sky. How do we then proceed with that idea and don’t just throw money down the drain?

Oops I spilled the beans

Time to spill the beans on making the perfect product

Here’s your three-step process for turning a dream into a real product:

  1. Everything is created twice, first in mind then in reality. Have a vision statement.
  2. You cannot manage what you cannot measure. Define success measures.
  3. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal. Validate continuously.

The product vision statement

For: «target customer» Who: «needs» The: «product name» Is a: «product category» That: «product benefit. Reason to buy»

A simple, clear and concise vision statement helps you and others understand what the product idea is and whether it is going to stack up against other solutions out there. Follow the format given above and it will help you start off on the right foot.

How to define product success

Great! You are ready to hire some developers and start executing. Have you thought about how you will know whether the right functionality is being delivered? You need to define what your objective is and how you will know whether you have met that objective. Objective and Key Results format created by Andy Grove is a useful tool. Another way is to define a goal for a quarter and the metrics i.e. success criteria to determine if the goal has been met.

Product life cycle

Continuous product validation

In this digital age, product development i.e. Execution has become easy due to availability of cloud services i.e. Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Development as a Service?, * as a service.  This allows ideas to be tested and developed quickly. As you can imagine there might be others out there thinking of developing a similar product.

To test your idea, you need to launch quickly. Change is the only constant these days and the availability of the * as a Service allows us to pivot when needed without too much effort. Quite a few founders fall into the trap of spending too much effort on defining a solution without knowing whether there is a market for their product. It is OK not to have a “normalized” database or not to know exactly how the users will interact with the system.

Take an iterative approach and release early and often. Measure the response from your users and learn from them.

Did you just think of a product idea while reading through this blog? Create your vision statement and define success measures. Get in touch and let us turn your idea into reality through continuous deployment and validation.

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