Think before building a product. All are having big ideas’ including me, designing & developing a product and thinking that it will be used by the whole world and we make a lot of money etc. But usually, that is not the case. No one thinks about one fundamental point before starting the project, that is; how you can make your product usable or will people use it? Every company or entrepreneur should think hard if they are focusing to build a product for a larger audience. The biggest three points that any entrepreneur or company should ask themselves before starting or developing a product, are; is the product desirable? – is it humane and will people use this? The second one is how feasible is this product? – I mean technically will it be possible or easy to build? What is it going to take to build this product and obviously the third one how viable this product is! – will this product bring money to the business, how fast and easy it is?
If you are finding the answer for all the three above questions, think next how we can start building the product. The best way to do this, you first try to emerge as an end-user; I mean try to understand as many prospective users from their own eyes, it is called empathy. Empathy is especially important in the first stage of any design thinking process. In the Empathise stage, it’s your goal to gain an empathic understanding of the people you’re building/designing for and the problem you are trying to solve. This involves empathizing with, engaging and observing the people you are targeting or you intend to help. It requires humility so you can seek to abandon your preconceived ideas and biases. It requires that you have a heightened awareness of other peoples’ needs, wants, motivations and goals. The most effective way you can gain empathy comes in the form of immersion: direct experience of the lives, contexts, environments, and activities of the people you would like to understand better. Try to listen and listen attentively, talk, feel and understand body language all aspects through “their own eyes” and gather all the details (including video’s and photos) and share all with your team (if you have) and analyse in detail, scribble ideas and point out each thing of it and sort things. Pick things only those are required according to your product vision and the user’s needs and gather all these at one place. Also, you should write a story out of all the findings you had. Work on the prototypes, test it and iterate till the concept comes in line with the product that you are visualizing/dreaming.
The above points are so important; most of the entrepreneur’s/companies miss this.
You start the visual design keeping in mind that it should appeal the end user but shouldn’t leak out the actual essence of the product and bring “functional elements” that a user “needed”. It is very important, as UX guru Prof. Don Norman said; “Attractive things work better but if it is not functional then useless”. Now find out the best simple technology that can make the product functional and expandable. Please mind it in all stages; the team should do testing with relevant team and users. Please include expert users and naive users, as it is very important to get views and feedback from both angles. UX research and testing is a major area any entrepreneur or company should invest more in if they are focusing to build a user-centric product.
This is the time you should start working on the marketing and business aspect of the product. Let the product development happen, but you can start hinting the product details in social media and your friend circle to make them curious and open once the beta product launches. Rest I can say faith because, always good product won’t survive, it is the fact!
I am not going to talk about the investor pitch or how to get an investment from VC. I am a failure in this so nothing can be spoken. Only one thing you can do a simple presentation (Not more than 12-15 slides, less will be better) with the core value of the product, team details, and projection of the product and send it to as many VC as possible. I am still doing that… I believe in my product, so you too.
All the very best, hope your product can be the next big thing!