Best Product Ideas Will Come When You Stop Forcing Them

Raymond Wang

Engineering Manager at Qadium



"Coming up with a brand new idea for a product is always exciting. You are both enthusiastic and anxious to share your idea with other people. If you are sharing your idea with someone experienced and candid -- be prepared for a scrutinizing conversation. While s/he is meticulously examining your idea for an HR software solution, you will be compelled to reflect on some more fundamental aspects of the process."

Actions taken

"Learn more about the industry itself. The HR industry is a fairly profitable industry that will increasingly rely on management software. However, the human-facilitated approach is still dominating the field and most HR managers are still reluctant to abandon a manual selection. Before moving any further with your idea, ask yourself how cost-effective is for a company to switch to a technology-based solution? Identify all barriers to entry. For example, in this particular case, the huge barrier to entry is that well-trained humans are doing a great job in finding competent candidates. When coming up with a new product idea try to determine if you want to be a product-oriented or operations-oriented company. People usually don't dedicate enough of their time thinking through this decision. Most companies are one way or the other, or hopefully the combination of both. Knowing in which direction your company is heading will require some deliberation. Don't be easily discouraged by the existing competition. Just because something already exists, doesn't mean that you can't build a solid product."

Lessons learned

  • "The huge barrier to entry in HR software management is that well-trained humans are doing a great job in finding competent candidates. Whatever algorithm you plan to build, you will have to address two challenges. First, your product is competing with humans who are already doing a great job. Can you build something better? The answer to that question is maybe because the actual heuristic itself is immensely complicated. The second challenge is that you need to find candidates who not only look good on paper but are actually good. If you visit the most popular recruitment websites you can find with 80 percent certainty candidates you would like to interview. Moving from 80 to 100 percent by using an algorithm is not something people will easily buy into."
  • "There is plenty of HCM (Human Capital Management) software that integrates all tools and apps. In addition to that, there is also a market for smaller downstream systems. However, the fact that the niche is already overcrowded shouldn't discourage you if you think you have a solid product."
  • "Don't try to force anything. Keep expanding the client base and once it reaches 100 or 200 clients, some patterns will emerge. You will notice that people are constantly asking for the same things and these things will lead to these patterns. Then, select one pattern and build a product around it."

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Raymond Wang

Engineering Manager at Qadium

Software DevelopmentEmerging TechnologiesCareer GrowthCareer ProgressionCareer LadderSkill DevelopmentLeadership RolesEngineering ManagerAgile, Scrum & Kanban

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