What does it take to build successful products?
The common approach which most of the product managers opt for is that they try and build a product they think users will want. Instead, they should be focused on building a product that they know users will love!
This might seem to be a small difference but getting there is altogether a different challenge!
Developing a product is one thing, creating something successful and bringing it to the market is another. Interested in learning more, we have it all covered!
Vision & Goals:
The product vision does not directly cater to the success metrics for the product, but it gives an overall structure & direction to get to that path. It is also tied to strong goals that can be created for individual teams. All in all, it's about how we best satisfy the customers' needs and create a valuable product and business out of it.
"You need to know what you are trying to achieve in order to create real value", this is the product vision put in a statement. Vision brings the future into everyday work. It helps the entire organization understand the larger purpose of the product. When done right, it inspires and motivates everyone to do their very best work.
Vision Example: Helping a user travel from point A → B
Goal Example: Create a pathway for user to go from A → B
Having well-defined and tested success metric criteria tailored to your product is one of the most important pathways to achieving a well-rounded and stable product. This in turn acts as data points that would advocate for the customer's satisfaction as well as the pain points.
There are multiple frameworks for product success available to choose from today, but choose the framework which fits best with your product and its use-cases.
You need to understand what is the metric you’re going to use to measure success and what is the target of your goal which in the long run will help you achieve success more often than not. One of the frameworks at the top of my mind is the SMART success criteria (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely).
Metric Example: Time saved, effort minimized, easy to use, ROI for the user to travel from A → B
Prioritization is said to be one of the core parameters for success. We all have 24 hours in a day, what we do in those 24 hours is what really matters. Similarly with building a product there will be always a huge set of requirements and features to be developed. Prioritizing the north star feature that is focused on the core problem of solving the customer pain points while providing value should top your priority list.
You need to start building around the core also keeping in mind what your competition is doing and what are your differentiating factors against them.
Example: Building a road is the first step, we need to prioritize signage before we can put on AD's.
Having a plan in place and sticking to the timelines is very important. You do not want to launch when most of the competition might have already taken up much of the market, so strike when the iron is hot!
Timelines can evolve and keep changing, but on the daily basis, we should be getting closer to our strategic goals and align better with them. This helps us assess where we are as a team and retrospect and pivot really quickly.
Example: The road (A1 → A5) to be used as the pathway should be built in 2 months. The signage can start once 50% of the roadways are built.
You need to have a good understanding of what the current industry trends are, how the market is segmented and what chunk each competitor holds. It gives us a quick insight to retrospect and learn from their failures while giving us a better understanding of what works and what does not.
Example: Building a road out of glass might not be a good solution
To be honest, it might take quite a while to contemplate that by just adding new features you might not spike up your sales, at the same time you just can't help your customers with your product prototype, that's where you should sense the red flag.
But by adhering to these key parameters, you can learn fast and build successful products focused on a purpose before your venture runs out of cash. Deliberate and thoughtful feature additions will help you delight existing customers and make the product useful to a wider market while staying true to your goals.
Written By: Areeb Sanadi & Kashish Pahwa