A new product starts with a great idea, but even those with the most promise can fail. Factors such as fixing a non-existent problem, timing, and failing to understand user wants and needs can quickly diminish a product’s chance of success. How can your business overcome these obstacles to create a product users fall in love with? Begin with these five tips:
1. Solve a high-value problem people care about.
Most of us aren’t visionaries like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, but we can recognize problems. Where we often fall short is not recognizing the problem, it is understanding the problem, what the value of solving it is, and why people will care about it. Keep asking why and peeling back the layers to be sure you aren’t falling into the trap of solving a mediocre problem. It takes the same amount of time, effort, and energy to solve a mediocre problem as it does to solve a high-value one.
2. Don’t overbuild, too soon.
A product that does three things well is better than a product that does one hundred things poorly. Your ability to stay focused on solving the core problem as simply and elegantly as possible will be the differentiation you need for people to care about what you are doing. It is human nature to overbuild, just as it is to start building before we have the understanding of what should be built. Resist the urge to start building before you have deep understanding and then once you start, have the discipline to deliver a simple solution.
3. Data tells the true story.
Don’t guess at how people are using the product. Build analytics throughout the product so you can see what is actually happening. Then, don’t qualify the data. The data doesn’t lie, but your interpretation of the data to suit your interests might. Arbitrary anything around product UX (user experience, UI (user interface), and functionality is BS. If you are guessing, you don’t know what levers to be pulling and you are just as likely to do more harm and make the product worse than you are to improve it.
4. Exercise in progress, not perfection.
Creating anything is an exercise in progress, not perfection. There is no finish line, just a moment in time. As human beings, we don’t do well with this concept; we want to be able to put things in a box, put a bow on them, and move on. Product ownership is the antithesis of this. A product that isn’t evolving is dying.
5. A great product and a successful product aren’t the same thing.
We often assume building a great product is enough. It isn’t. It is really just the ticket to the game. Your ability to get in front of and resonate with users is equally important. The most successful products are often not the best products. The difference is the successful ones figured out how to get the attention of and drive action by users.
It has been reported than 80% of products fail. Instead of planning and executing with users and market trends in mind, developers jump into a project quick to overbuild and determined to launch the perfect product. Creating a product users love takes patience, research, and reflection. Incorporate these five tips into your launch plan and your business can beat the odds and create a product positioned for growth and success.