Ensure that there are customers out there that want your product. And can use it.

When you are about to create a new product, your biggest risk isn’t getting the software built. Instead, you first ensure that there are customers out there that want your product. And can use it. That you have validated the product is viable, feasible and usable.
Enter product discovery.
Take this example from Nordstrom below.


This video shows that the team:

  • Demos after day one. That's fast.

  • Needs to adapt screen orientation because of polarised glasses. They did not expect that.

  • Has generated a lot more ideas than they started with.


Product management checks your riskiest assumptions first

The Nordstrom team does not end with “high quality software”. They built a messy prototype that works well enough to answer their riskiest assumptions:

  • Who is our customer?

  • What job does the customer want done?

  • What channels can we use to reach the customer?

  • Which features should we build for our first product?

  • Is our solution good enough?

Notice that you won’t see the product running in a Nordstrom store near you. But that’s not failure. It’s discovering the answers to your assumptions. To build delightful products after that.

If your biggest risk is building the right thing, improve the rate at which you learn the answers. Improve your discovery velocity. This is where I help: finding answers to your riskiest assumptions, fast.


Product management maximises outcome

Of course, actually creating the product is still a daunting task. This means:

  • Building a product team to steer discovery and delivery. This product team typically consists of 3 to 5 members and have roles such as designer, subject matter expert, architect, developer, scrum master and product manager.

  • Convert the most valuable insight to working software, fast.

  • Gathering qualitative and quantitative insights after the software is put into production. Because you don't measure success by the number of features delivered. Instead, you can only decide if your product is successful after release.

You need someone who combines strategy, discovery and delivery. You need a product manager.


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