Product Management Rules of Thumb 3: It Has To Work
Your Product Has a Job – It Better Do It
I just subscribed (again) to Mark Hurst’s “Good Experience” newsletter. He dropped me an email the other day asking how I’d heard about the list (I don’t remember, actually) and why I subscribed. As I wrote out my response, I thought it would be something worth posting as well.
My product philosophy holds that two critical factors for a product to be successful are
- It has to work – to do what it’s supposed to do, to “do the job it was hired to do”
- It has to be engaging – people should look forward to using the product
The “good experience” concept covers both of those factors. Hence, naturally, I want to continue to get information and inspiration about good experience.
If The Other Product Fails To Work, That’s An Unbeatable Competitive Advantage
With my last product, we would go into head-to-head evaluations with our competitors, and our product would work in the evaluation phase, and theirs wouldn’t. Competitors failed along a continuum – from not being able to complete an installation in the first place, to not successfully performing the basic functions, its reason for being. If your product does not work during the evaluation, then you are likely not going to win the business!
But If The Other Product Works, Yours Had Better Be More Engaging!
Some products failed later than others, but even if the other product didn’t fail, we almost always won the evaluation anyway. That’s because our product was better, in a key sense – it was more engaging to use. In that particular product space, most products approached the problem in a certain way that was, you might say, the “standard” approach. Our product approached the problem in a different way, one that turned out to be easier for customers both to understand initially, and to work with over time. So we not only won the evaluations because we worked, but because the customers liked us. As Kathy Sierra puts it, we made them feel like they rule!
Other articles in the Product Management Rules of Thumb series
- Product Management Rules of Thumb 1: The “Order of Magnitude” Rule
- Product Management Rules of Thumb 3: It Has To Work
- Product Management Rules of Thumb 2: The Three Boxes Rules
- The Three Key Requirements For A Successful Product
Book RecommendationsThe books on this list both inspire me and provide daily-use tools and insights.
DecisiveChip and Dan Heath hit another one out of the ballpark with Decisive, their guide to making better decisions through science - the science of understanding how our psychology handicaps us when it comes to decisions. With their simple WRAP methodology for improving your decision-making process, or that of your organization, your decisions will be much better.
Flash ForesightDaniel Burrus' Flash Foresight was one of the highlights of my reading list last year, full of valuable advice about "predicting the future' and how to know what part of the future is predictable and what part isn't. Highly recommended - I've returned to it over and over again since I first read it.
Lean StartupEric Reis' Lean Startup has fundamental (and in retrospect, obvious) ideas for how to build a startup successfully. Key concept is that startups operate in a world of complete uncertainty, so you need business practices that recognize that uncertainty and continually reduce the level of uncertainty, until you have discovered a real market, a real product that market wants, and a real way you can get that product to market profitably. You may think you know this at the outset, but the reality is that you don't, and at least you have to test your hypotheses. This book is about how to do that.
Sign Up To Get My Blog Posts By Email
Tagsbiotechnology reading prioritization reform lawyers future tech lean software augmented reality motivation lean startup summit creativity Google Glass product management competition rematerialization quality gamification summit vegetarian dessert dematerialization innovation photoshop handbook of living nanotechnology process interaction design education business future design recipe rules howto advanced technology agile accelerating change Rules of thumb user experience basics gamification usability chocolate haptics 5-hour MBA