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How do you know you are making the right product before you launch?

Product
Product Team

8 May, 2019

Nick Gavronsky, Head of Product at Trade, speaks about his experience in early stage companies building a product before launch.

Problem

Without current users, it can be really challenging to know if you are building the right thing. In an early stage company, trying to launch a product for the first time, it is possible to miss the mark. How can PM's take action to prevent this from happening?

Actions taken

You must know the targeted user. Ensure that you have an expert level understanding of who you are making this product for. If you are creating an investment platform, are you making this for casual day traders or professional traders? You should be able to help pinpoint your user by thinking about the problem that you want to solve. Once you have specifically nailed down your user profile and the problem that you want to solve you should be able to create an MVP. You can get this in front of users and see what happens. The most important step here is to spend a lot of time talking to customers. Whether you have an MVP or not, talk to customers about the problem that you are trying to solve. Do this in the environment that is contextual to your product. For example, if you are creating a digital platform to sell coffee- observe users making coffee, buying coffee, see what they do now so you can factor their current preferences into your product.

Lessons learned

It's really important to have a CX (customer experience) touch point. At the beginning, this can be something the PM is in charge of, but as the product grows it's important to have an employee or a team devoted to this. Once a product is launched, it's crucial to get feedback right away. I have found that a scrappy way of doing this is to reach out to someone a week or two after they purchase a subscription to your platform. Ask to see if they are willing to do a phone call. Additionally, a good way to do concept validation and gut check UX decisions is through usertesting.com. You have to take this with a grain of salt since it is people getting paid to test products; however, it's a quick and easy way to get your product in front of users. Other questions: if the product is working, how do you scale?


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