Coming up with product ideas...posted on 28 May 2021
But where does one get ideas from ?
- Needs of existing customers : Existing customers are the greatest source of new ideas. Talking to them on a regular basis and having them open up to talk about their motivations and problems may uncover needs that have not been identified yet.
- Competition : Studying the strategy and products of your competition from time to time throws new perspectives. It forces you to identify gaps in your own products. Inefficiencies in a competitor's products that you can capitalize can provide great ideas.
Review sites, Forums, Marketplace discussions: These are the places where you will get to know -
- How your customers feel about your product.
- What obstacles they are facing and what solutions are being recommended to them.
- What jobs are customers trying to do using your products.
Improvements to existing products : Think of enhancements to existing products - better UX, revamped UI, technology upgrades, strategies to optimize cost, refactoring for longevity etc.
Plethora of possibilities !
- Product or Process Inefficiencies: Talk to internal teams involved with the product and look for product related tasks that are repetitive, manual and are time-consuming. Similarly, talk to support and success teams to dig up frequent requests from customers that eat up a lot of their time.
- Latest Trends : Large scale trends govern customer expectations. Such trends introduce new use cases. Customers start expecting a lot more. What was nice-to have sometime ago now becomes table-stake. Ways to leverage these trends to deliver customer delight can be great source of ideas.
- Innovations in Technology : Innovations lead to a new way of doing things. Analysing these innovations and finding out ways to leveraging these innovations to fast track product development and problem solving can be great additions to your ideas list.
These are few of the various sources you can tap into for generating new ideas. But remember to not do it alone. The best way to build a killer list of product ideas is by doing it with your team. Each one from your team will have unique insights and all the members can act as a bouncing pad for each others’ ideas. As a PM, you can facilitate such ideas-bouncing and brainstorming sessions.When you get other functions involved in the idea generation process, it will not only help you gain perspective and a good handle on the capabilities and limitations of your product but will also help you get buy-ins when you decide to pursue some of the ideas.
New ideas are what keep organizations relevant in these rapidly changing world and having a compelling list of ideas is what keeps teams motivated and going.
Let me know what other sources or processes you find useful when generating new ideas for your products.
Until next time…