No product earns it profits by moving from point A to point B, which means no product management plan should operate like an assembly line. Don't waste time and money to develop something you're ashamed of -- or worse, something that's been done a hundred times before. Instead, take a little advice from tried-and-true product management tactics. Experts share their thoughts on the question:
"What are the key ingredients of a long product lifetime?"
The MarTechExec takeaway
It's hard enough to make a good product stand out -- Trying to sell a useless one is downright impossible. And why would you want to? Creating a product just for the sake of it is a fatal mistake. Sooner or later, it will take its toll on your teams, your profits and your reputation. So, whatever you build, build it well. Give it a vision, give it direction, give it your all. That's a product that sells itself.
The expert takeaways
- Invest in the heart of the product
- Don't just build a better mousetrap
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
- Never settle for "good enough"
- Diana Nassar
- Geoffrey Gualano
- Matt Bilotti
- Gary Thomas George
- Joe Kendall
- Daryl Hornsby
- Joshuah Vincent
- Parul Joshi
- Chris Dermody
- Kelli Niewohner
- Boyan Kostov
Don't just build a better mousetrap
"Focusing on building an awesome thing and improving it all the time is much better than wasting energy by just following and copying competition. Provide unique value to your customers. Real value. Something that they will be ready to pay for even without much convincing or marketing efforts. Work on your product experience. If it's not a niche specialized product, make sure that your grandma can use it!"
“Are you building vitamins or painkillers? Vitamins improve things that already exist – painkillers fundamentally change the way things are done. To “ensure” a long product lifetime, ask yourself the question. If the answer is vitamins, I’d suggest going back to the drawing board.
That being said, building painkillers doesn’t necessarily mean success. You’ll need 100 things and more to go right. In my opinion, the most important thing is to empathize with your target customer, to understand their world, and to solve a problem that’s ultimately worth solving.”
“The product has to solve a job for the customer. It can't be a nice to have. The value needs to be obvious and it needs to display that value again and again on a regular cadence.”
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
“Staying connected with the ground reality is the most important. We have heard the saying - Change is the only constant. Users, Market conditions, Policies all change and if the product is in sync with this reality then a long product lifetime can be ensured.”
“Companies and products tend to have a lot of inertia, so changing directions is often an uphill battle, and the farther you are down a given path, the harder it is to pivot. An effective way to make it past this phase is to clearly define your problem and value statement up front, and then build in regular check-ins to confirm you're still solving that problem.
It doesn't get you past this phase, but it speeds up the time to realization and allows for rapid mid-course corrections. It's always easier to communicate and implement a lot of small adjustments than one big one.”
Invest in the heart of the product
“A central core premise that engages with your users and keeps them retained. You can add whatever additional retention features you want, but for a truly sustainable product it's the core that's important.”
“Well executing multi disciplined team, A north star for the product vision, Ongoing customer engagement and research, agreed upon "tip of the spear", Ample financial runway, flexibility and maneuverability in product offering, quality analytics to track progress.”
“It is very important to chose one's product idea very wisely. Creative brainstorming and a strong market research can help in predicting the product growth for the next few years.”
Never settle for "good enough"
“Re-assessing your resources on a regular basis. Making sure you're using them for maximum effectiveness, and testing new theories quickly, pivoting where the best opportunity arises.”
“The key ingredients for a long product lifetime are constant testing and continuous evolution. It's imperative that you are always ready to respond to the market as it changes and strive to be two steps ahead of your competitors.
Focus on the three pillars of value, meaning, and engagement so that you are not only solving a problem, you are doing so in the most delightful way.”