Launching successful products has become more challenging. Today's customers demand top-notch experiences. The diverse landscape of the market, the ever-growing list of competitors, and the rapid pace of technological innovation only add to this complexity.
According to Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, 95% of all products that are launched fail. Thus, having successful products becomes pivotal to an organization's triumph.
Product Discovery can significantly reduce this percentage, paving the way for the launch of successful products. While Product Discovery can't guarantee a 100% success rate, it surely enlightens you more and amplifies your odds of success.
In this article, I'll shed light on how Product Discovery can be the saviour for your product.
Common Reasons for Product Failure
Numerous factors can lead a new product to fail. Here are some typical reasons:
There's a possibility you've developed a product nobody needs. While the product's idea might sound intriguing, there may not be a considerable audience facing the problem it addresses.
Poor User Experience
Most products are designed for users. If a product is challenging or non-intuitive, users might opt for alternatives.
Lack of Continuous Feedback Loop
Continuous feedback is essential to understand both your users and the market. Not having a feedback mechanism poses a substantial risk.
The right pricing strategy is crucial. Setting the price too low or too high can detrimentally impact your product. I've increased the selling prices of physical products several times, and it positively influenced sales.
Weak Go-to-Market Strategy
First impressions are critical. A compelling product requires a strategic marketing and launch approach. Remember, first impressions last.
While having a vision is commendable, neglecting user feedback can be the downfall of your product.
No one prefers unstable, buggy systems. Depending on the nature of the problem your product addresses, most users will abandon it if it's unreliable.
Launching either too prematurely or too belatedly can be detrimental. Timing is everything.
Entering a market with a product that addresses an already-solved problem is futile. Your product should either address a different issue or tackle the existing problem ten times better.
What is Product Discovery?
Product Discovery is a method that assists product teams in identifying customer issues or needs and validating potential solutions.
This process examines both the problem and solution realms, ensuring problems are clearly defined and solutions are validated before full-fledged development begins. In contrast, traditional product development often emphasizes the solution without iterative problem and solution exploration.
The Six Pillars of Product Discovery
Suppose you have an idea, a challenge, or a desired outcome. Product Discovery can be your first step. Here's my approach to discovery:
Document your idea and discuss it with others. You might also want to research online for similar concepts to gauge the landscape.
Every idea designed to address a problem will have users (or a target audience). Engaging with them, comprehending their perspectives, and having unbiased dialogues are invaluable.
Defining the Problem/Challenge
Based on user interactions, crystallize the challenge you aim to address. Conversations with users might reshape your initial problem statement, offering more context.
The initial solution idea might not be optimal. Detaching emotionally from your solution concepts and brainstorming with a competent team can lead to better outcomes. Techniques like mind mapping, card sorting, and random idea generation can be beneficial.
Prototyping & Validation
Craft a prototype and present it to your target group to validate assumptions and gather feedback.
Depending on the associated risks, you might need to revisit previous steps until both you and the users are content with the results.
How Product Discovery Can Save Your Product
Product Discovery champions the concept of failing early. It might sound counterintuitive, but encountering failures sooner rather than later is beneficial. This process challenges or sometimes even confirms your assumptions.
Regardless of one's intelligence, there are always blind spots. Product Discovery illuminates these areas, revealing insights you might have overlooked. Here's how it can be a lifesaver for your product:
Validating assumptions minimizes the chances of failure. This also allows you to ascertain if the problem can be addressed in the first place.
Imagine investing a significant sum in development only to realize later that a fundamental change is required. Early insights can lead to judicious budget allocation.
Ensuring Market Fit
Numerous successful products have deviated from their initial concept to better fit the market. Engaging with users can reveal surprising insights, guiding you to develop a product that resonates with the market.
Strengthened Go-to-Market Strategy
Genuine user insights can inform your marketing strategy, helping you select the right communication channels and use impactful language.
Tips to Effectively Implement Product Discovery
Having the right team for discovery is essential. Teresa Torres suggests assembling a team comprising at least a product manager, a UX designer, and an engineer for discovery tasks. In specific scenarios, adding a data analyst might be beneficial.
If you're new to the world of discovery, consider setting a definitive timeframe, like a 6-week window, to start.
Every discovery phase should have a clear objective. It's imperative to stay focused on the learning goals and ensure everyone is aligned.
Keep egos in check and be vigilant about confirmation biases. Discovery is akin to the early stages of getting to know someone: it's driven by curiosity, open questions, and a thirst for understanding.
However, use discovery judiciously. For instance, it's unnecessary to use discovery for a routine task like designing a login page. Reserve discovery for more intricate challenges.
Venturing into product development without discovery is like navigating in pitch darkness. The likelihood of reaching the desired destination diminishes, and unforeseen hurdles might crop up.
In today's market, making a product that succeeds is tough. Most new products don't make it. But using Product Discovery can help a lot.
It helps businesses really understand what customers want and avoid mistakes early on. So, for anyone looking to launch a new product, it's a smart move to consider Product Discovery. It might just be the difference between success and failure.
I'm looking to your thoughts about Product discovery.