Sunday, May 5, 2019

12 Nuggets for Building Winning Innovative Products

I am currently going through a Coursera course named Strategic Innovation: Building and Sustaining Innovative Organizations

So far, the course has served the purpose I signed-up i.e. to get an additional perspective on the deep subject of Innovation. On going through the course, one thing that got reinforced: You cannot really separate Innovation from Product Management. These 2 fields, sometimes presented distinctly, compliment each other much like Popcorn and Movies (Sorry for a weird analogy :-)).
On a serious note, conceptually, Innovation and Product Management go hand-in-hand.

In this post, my intention is to keep things simple and share 1-2 line Product Management nuggets that I found useful (Credit for these points goes to the creators of the said course):

1.  First and foremost, your product should do the core function really, really well.

2. Don't fall into the "Swiss Army Knife" syndrome. Don't develop all sorts of products and all sorts of features for all customers if you will.

3.  Once you start building products, simplicity is okay, follow the Ockham's Razor

4.  Complexity is not always good, so therefore practice tough love when it comes to building products

5.  Do not fall blindly in love with your product. Do provide the features and functions but not without consideration of their accompanying customer benefits

6.  It is not the best innovation that succeeds in the marketplace. It is the right innovation that best fits customer needs. 

7.  Don't attack the mass market all at once, instead find a beachhead segment in that market. Choose a beachhead that aligns with the sweet spot of your capabilities and focus everything on it, then use the momentum you gain to tackle the mass market segment by segment.

8. Customer focus must be ahead of product focus. Hear customer's voice clearly, focus on benefits to them rather than product features. 

9. Product focus is nevertheless critical. Don't get distracted by table stakes features and don't fall into the trap of adding neat features that add complexity but little customer value

10. When it comes to products, Perfect should not be the enemy of Good.

Bonus Points (Learnings from Citrix's Chief Product Officer: PJ Hough)
11.  "Customer requests are like IQ tests for companies. Accepting/Rejecting the right requests determines success"

12. We are inspired by TAM (Total Addressable Market), but not constrained by it! Critical factor to building solutions vs point products.

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