In this #mtpcon San Francisco talk, Merci Grace, Angel investor, and former Head of Growth at Slack offers an iterative framework to plan and execute the product discovery phase that provides value to your customer.
Watch the video to see the talk in full, or read on for the key points:
- Generate Ideas
- Clarify Ideas
- Test a concept.
- Willingness-to-pay interview
Merci says that every product is centered around an idea. It not only sets the benchmark for your business, but where you envision it in the future.
So when heading to brainstorming ideas, Merci says to “look out for the ideas that your consumers can use on their own and would also make a direct payment in exchange for your services.”
“The list can be enormous and confusing when considering ideas for new products and services”, Merci explains. So it’s crucial to clarify the list of ideas and focus on something that solves a problem your customer is facing.
After choosing the ideas you believe have the growth potential, it’s time to start the specs and landing pages. Specs are documents that outline a set of requirements to build a new product or service. Landing pages are single web pages that are designed by companies for their potential customers to promote their products or services.
When building the spec page, Merci says to “make sure to identify your potential customers. Drive your search by using LinkedIn, and be as detailed as possible about your potential customer.”
Test your concept
Now it’s time to connect with your potential customer,” Merci explains. Use something like Contact Out to find the email address, and try to find the personal one. Pitch your idea, and schedule a meeting when you find the individual intrigued by your project.
During the interview meeting, Merci says to try to keep the questions open-ended. This way, you show a sense of genuine interest in their life. Also, translate whatever they are saying into value props and pain points. The goal here is to understand the internal framework of your potential customer and how they feel about the core subject of your idea.
Eventually, if you think the customer is a good candidate, show them your landing pages. You will start to sense whether a product has potential if your customer leans in and shows interest in learning more about your product, Merci believes.
If you are doing these interviews remotely, record the interviews and get the transcript. The benefits of remote interviews are that they help you analyze the emotional impression of your customers and whether they are genuinely interested in your product.
Following the ‘willingness-to-pay’ step guides you through figuring out your business model, Merci believes.
Part of the process is to write an email that includes:
- Thank you note for participation
- Pain points articulated in terms of your potential product feature.
- Request a follow-up discussion to rank the pain points.
The other part is to discover the price per unit of your product, Merci explains. During the discussion, ask participants to rank the pain points. For each pain point, ask questions like:
- Based on an estimated price, ask them if it feels too cheap and ask for what’s acceptable to them.
- What value is expensive, and which value is so prohibitively expensive that they wouldn’t be able to afford to pay for it?
Gather all this information and develop your business model. The benefit of using this framework is that it helps you identify whether an idea is worth pursuing, given the resources you are investing.
The key takeaway from this talk is that you have everything you need to create something out of nothing. You only need an implied road map to turn your vision into reality.
Want to turn the learning from this talk into action?
Our exciting #mtpcon San Francisco 2023 Keynote Kit brings you all of the insights from our San Francisco keynote talks plus additional helpful discussion points and thought starters so you can easily translate the insights into actions – perfect for making effective improvements to your role, team, and product. Plus, get an email notification when each talk is published! Sign up now.