In this ProductTank Waterloo talk, Etienne Garbugli, Author of Lean B2B and Solving Product, dives into the challenges that need to be overcome to deliver product value. Watch the video to see his talk in full, or read on for an overview of his key points:
- The challenge(s) with delivering product value
- Finding the core value
- Delivering value
The challenge(s) with delivering product value
Most successful products start as either a simple use case or a single feature. The idea of what makes a better product is pretty straightforward. For example, with a knife, the goal might be to make the blade sharper. However, as success happens, there’s more growth and demand, more people get involved, and when you want to make a product better, you’re trying to create something that caters to the largest market possible. This makes it challenging to deliver value to the general audience, and you might end up creating something not very compelling.
Suddenly the product becomes multiple things to multiple types of people, yet customers still have the same expectations from the original product iteration. At this point, the product becomes too generic and focused on too many use cases rather than being specific. The product becomes bigger, but bigger doesn’t equal better.
Finding the core value
Unless you only have a very few customers, different types of users will find value in your product. There will be users in market you target with the value you think you deliver and people from adjacent markets who consider your product valuable for their use case. There will also be people seeking different value who have discovered your product and think it could meet their needs.
The people you intend to target won’t always perform best with your product. It’s important to identify several potential use cases for your product as it can unlock your focus and help you plan for opportunities.
In order for something to be considered a value add, it must be related, truly additive, achievable, and not overserved. To deliver value you need to:
- Lock in the core value of your product
- Disregard inputs from users that don’t want that value
- Assess the implications and potential of being better along those dimensions
- Reinforce core value drivers
- Reduce friction and expand into related use cases
You also need to keep in mind that half your product ideas might not work, and it takes several iterations to implement the idea to the point where it delivers the expected value.
The key takeaways from this talk are that the need for growth drives complexity in products. A product’s core value is the value that helps build the right business and can act as a filter to grow product value. Delivering value is a long grind taking many iterations.
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