Any entrepreneur who strives to transform an industry takes precautions and is vigilant of every step they take. Every startup wants to avoid spending money on developing the wrong products that nobody wants. Product discovery in the initial stages is a great way to minimize risks, reduce assumptions and overall define a clear problem statement along with a plan to develop the solution for the new product. In the word's of Albert Einstein “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”
Jumping into the solution phase without properly identifying the problem is a recipe for high risks, high implementation costs and in some cases unsuccessful product launches.
What is Product Discovery?
Product discovery is a way to understand your clients and create goods that suit their needs perfectly. You cannot run a business on assumptions and product discovery helps avoid building products that fail or fall short of the user’s needs. The purpose of building a product is to ensure that it satisfies one or more pain points of the consumers and they can relate to it. Product discovery helps in not only defining the market needs but also the benefits, weaknesses, and improvement areas of the offering.
Product discovery is a customer-centric process that helps product owners determine if a specific product or its feature needs to be built or not. The process of carrying it forward might vary but the end goal is always the same.
Customers don't know what's possible, and with technology products, none of us know what we really want until we actually see it.
- Marty Cagan
Exploring Your Understanding for the Product
Organizations or platforms that run product discovery sessions are experts in digging out your understanding of the idea/concept or product that you have at hand. Some methodologies are followed by Product Managers which unfold different aspects of your thought process; how well-thought is the product, how thorough is your understanding of the business model, what pain points of the customer base do you aim to relieve, and your positioning among competitors.
If you want to have a look at the kind of questions you should encounter in a product discovery session, read this blog we posted earlier: 48 Questions to Ask During Product Discovery
The Goal of Product Discovery
This is an iterative process and is usually conducted before coming up with an MVP. It helps teams to come up with user problems and their needs. By crafting a close-trimmed set of research areas and questions, product teams increase the certainty that you are addressing the right problem for the right customer. Product Discovery helps you learn lessons and correct mistakes before diving into money-intensive stages such as product design and development.
Product discovery helps product teams set realistic expectations while ensuring that ground realities are kept in mind by both parties. A product discovery report contains the agreed-upon deliverables, phases and prioritizes all action items. Once the KPIs are locked, cross-collaboration and validation help clarify ambiguities.
Most product discovery platforms are now apt with the process and the result. By carefully researching customers, competitor products, and mockups, product teams can identify loopholes, improvement areas, and additional feature sets.
Some teams do it as projects and others do it continuously as one of the practice areas. Find the right partner for your business that knows the job well. There are online product discovery tools that help with testing products in their raw forms. Our top picks are:
Lean Canvas- a Tool Your Startup Needs Instead of a Business Plan
Amplitude- The Digital Optimization System has arrived.
FullStory- Craft a more perfect digital experience
How Product Discovery Helps You Succeed
1. Realistic Expectation of Product & Features
Product discovery helps in mapping out a clear roadmap of what features it will contain, how will they work, aligning realistic expectations, planning for team resources, and understanding what budget is required to launch n the market successfully.
2. Reduce Costs and Effective Investment
Through this exercise, product teams can understand what the customer groups would like as part of the offering and helps minimize overruns.
3. Delivery of Improved Value
Product Discovery helps in identifying a better frame of customer needs and the market gaps that your product is capable of solving. Through well-thought prioritization, teams can deliver better value while utilizing the same budget.
4. Reduce Technical Dept
It can help you invalidate an idea that doesn't work well and saves development costs. A mistake in the discovery phase is known to cost 10 to 100 times cheaper than a mistake made in the development phase.
5. Effective use of Resources
During product discovery, product owners might find some initial ideas invalid and some adjacent ideas more effective. They can then use the same budget in refining the product further to offer services that are of more value to the customer and pay off well to them in the future as well.
6. Help Minimize Assumptions & Risks
Product Discovery will help product teams in uncovering certain assumptions and risks associated with the product that they might consider and tackle later. These might be the ones that had gone unacknowledged, giving you an edge to improve on the product.
7. Effective Product Development
Product discovery helps in identifying roadblocks, reducing scope creep, getting a clearer understanding of timelines and deliverables; which helps in eliminating errors and uncertainty.
Impressing the Right Customers
Once you have a handful of insights from product discovery sessions, you are now able to maneuver with constant innovation, opportunities without falling prey to the confirmation bias. Stay curious and keep exploring for defining and shaping customer experiences to increase customer base and run the cycle.
Above all, the most important role is played by the ones you partner with for this effort. The right product team can help you eliminate errors and add significant features to your concept. Visit our website now and start your next project! https://venturerepublic.net/start-a-project/. To view our efforts with our clients, visit here: https://venturerepublic.net/work/.