In this ProductTank Cardiff talk, Nick Eales, Chief Product Officer at Aforza, explains how to create and sell compelling products from scratch. The critical points of his talk include:
- What is an industry product?
- Industry product building blocks
- Putting it all together
Watch the video to see his talk in full or read on for a summary of the key points.
What is an industry product?
Industry products can come in two different types: horizontal and vertical. A horizontal product is made for everyone and has generic functionality that typically needs to be customized for a specific company’s needs. A vertical product is made for a particular industry. It has a deep specialized functionality and requires less customization to support a specific company’s needs.
Industry product building blocks
To create a successful industry product, product managers need to focus on the three areas that product management combines:
- The technical aspect
- User experience
- Business knowledge
As Nick explains, the sweet spot for awesome industry products combines modern technologies with consumer-grade UI/UX and in-depth industry knowledge.
Product managers should seek to learn their customer’s pain points. Use cases, competitors, and more. Build a prototype, demo it for someone, and draw on industry advisors’ help to get the business component right.
Product managers should decide on the foundation for the technical component. This includes the programming languages and technology their products will be built on. They should seek out partnerships and move towards innovation, drawing on the knowledge of people such as CTOs or senior engineers.
As part of the user experience, product managers should aim to make their products consumer-grade, make the most of user testing, and strive for consistency everywhere. A creative director can help to fill the gaps and point them in the right direction.
Putting it all together
The final stages of building an industry product require product managers to learn something about the industry, define the use cases for the product, build an MVP to solve the pain points, make it look fantastic, and then demo it to get feedback. Eventually, through enough iterations and applications of the feedback, success can be found.
The key takeaways from this talk are that industry products are highly valuable to consumers. It doesn’t require a PhD to build them; you just need to make the right technology and UX choices for your industry and then focus on demoing it and gathering feedback.
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