Product Development: Lesson Learned so far
November 20th, 2017 in Product
Product development is something we all invest in and it is a tough one to get right. Although it sounds like something that is very straightforward but on a closer inspection it is far from it. Here are a few things that we’ve learned so far while developing Slenke and I’m sure there will be more lessons in the future but this is our List at the moment.
Product is never done
Product development is an ongoing process of improvements and small pivots to give the best possible value for a product’s end-user. The common belief of delivering a completely finished product is a myth, especially when it comes to technology-focused companies. Perfect is not something that can be achieved in a one go, it is something that should always to sought after over time and the bar should be raised as you get closer to achieving the initial goal. What perfect implies is that there are no flaws in the product that you’ve delivered, but in reality market changes, what customers find valuable changes and you have to be willing to change with it.
There is no point in holding the product till it’s completely “Finished”. All that is doing for you is that it is making you miss on all the valuable feedback you could be getting from prospective customers. Get the product out in the hand of your users as soon as you can, get the feedback from them. Let their feedback drive your product development. It is understandable to be scared to put a product out in hand of people when you think it’s still not done yet, but putting it out there opens a door to wealth of feedback that was probably never on the table before.
Don’t develop new features just for the sake of it
One thing that I see over and over again is the thinking that just by adding new features to your product you will bring in more customers. I am guilty of doing this as well because it is really easy to get into that mindset. A new feature should never be added to a product for just the sake of it, rather when thinking about adding a new feature you have to get into your customer’s shoes. What will add to the value for your customer, never be afraid of asking them directly to see if they would find value in your suggested features? Your job is not to add bells and whistles that don’t add any significant value to your customer but to optimize the product to get the most value for your customers.
Ask then Listen
Now that I believe we agree that product development never ends, it brings me to my last point. Ask your customer what they like about the product, what they don’t like about it and what will add to the experience of your product. Your customers are your most valuable resource not just when it comes to the monetary gains but also product development. Ask and then listen to what they have to say and it will give you a good idea regarding what your customer thinks is of value to them and what you think is of value. Use the feedback in the future decisions about product development direction.
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