Entering the world of startups and developing something that don’t just fill your desires but also what people love and something that gives you positive cash flow makes a product efficient and applicable. I have came up with this approach which probably may allow you to bring out the best of the ideas and let you explore the sides that you might have left untouched. Let’s get into it:
It looks complicated. Probably a lot of lines and stuff. Let’s focus the end goal. That’s selling and that requires a market. But market for what. May be a service or a product.
Whenever we develop a product, we will require a targeted market to sell it. We can’t target everyone. Selling anything to everyone is like selling to none. It almost never works. That targeted market could be achieved using your specific industry, community or from people who follow your memes. But how do we get a market? What factors to depend on? Let’s go back a step.
It depends on the kind of good or service that you’re selling and also on what kind of special features that you’re giving with your product or service that is superficial. The kind of good or service provided will always depend on the developer’s side because they’re the ones who are going to develop it. It depends on them what features they want to provide. How much difficulty or easiness they want to give? But the superficial requirements will be on the customer’s side. The customer will have a specific problem to be solved and it would be up to the developer to decide the solutions. So, both sides are important. The problem giver and the solution provider. What makes difference is the quality of interchange of information between these two.
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Customer matrix is all about figuring out the solutions. Let’s discuss all these four approaches for solution finding:
When customers know what they need: This tends to be the most simple one. Every newbie company just follows the ideas of the customer for the solutions. It’s so open-source that there’s nothing more that can be done. So, it can be easily replicated and saturated. Do look for these solutions but don’t ever priorities these.
When customers don’t know what they need: This happens in most of the cases. Problems exist but people don’t know the solutions that they need. Until Apple introduced ipods, people had no idea that it could be even possible to store all their favorite songs in one place. Probably, they were not sure about the solution. So, they had a problem but they didn’t have a solution for themselves. It becomes burden on developer to figure out a solution which never existed before but that gives originality to the ideas. That gives the company to edge over the competitors if there are any. Find out solutions that customer’s have no ideas about.
When customers know what they don’t need: At first glance, it looks opposite to the first case. But it’s pretty much different, It requires courage to go against even to your customers and show bravery. Many companies succeed but that number is low. Finding out what customers don’t want requires intensive market research. But it saves capital and time investment that might go into unwanted product. First and third steps are critical. First asks us to escape the obvious route and third one says to stay away from what doesn’t exist.
When customers don’t know what they don’t need: This is going to be the most difficult one. You can’t ask it from a customer if he says something it goes towards first step if they already know. It can be found after intensive brainstorming of developers and by finding patterns among the market data of your competitors if you have any. Working on it, will put you a lot ahead in game.
Working on above customer matrix and finding out cases for all of these will help you to segment the solutions, reducing chances of failure, figuring out intellectual property possibilities and predicting product success from customer’s point of view.
Next matrix is from the developer’s point of view. How he looks at the problems?
Customer’s matrix was focused on the solution part and developer’s matrix focuses on how well the problem is understood. Let’s look into all these four cases:
When developers know what’s required: In this step, note down everything that you know about the problem. Write every detail. The information may come from brainstorming, market research or even from the simple chitchat.
When developer doesn’t know what’s required: Finding a solution that you don’t know is quite easier than finding out the unknown problem. To identify the problems that you don’t know. Reach out to the customers. Reach out to the third parties. You will have to remove the self part while figuring out this. If you can figure out this yourself, it’s gonna lie in first one.
When developer knows what’s not required: It’s a trap. As a developer, you can’t leave any possibility that’s the job. It may happen due to ignorance and lack of research. If you find such problems that are not required, reaffirm them from customer’s end.
When developer doesn’t know what’s not required: This is death trap. It might lead to severe product and financial breakdown.
Knowing what you don’t need is more important that knowing what you need.
Again, customer will take you out of this trap. Validate your every step with them.
Every part of developer’s matrix can be validated with the customer end. If you can figure out the right problems, you can surely find right solutions.
Pretty weird name right, I named it glamour not because that it contains something that gets visible itself but requires more spot lights.
The glamour part will give you ideas about the product or service that you need to work on, and what features should be glamorized. Let’s discuss all these three:
Points of Parity: In this case, you make a list of all the solutions on which your competitors are working on. Research all of them, sort them with the impact they had created.
Category Points of Parity: Figure out all the features in sorted solutions that you must have to have to bring credibility to customers. These features are well known if there’s already solutions available.
Points of difference: In this step, work on possible features that will cause differentiation of your solution in the market. These features set vision and give companies a stand to stand on.
If you can figure out what everyone is doing, what you must do and what you need to do to make a difference then it will help you figure out the solutions and features that you must work on to get the best product.
We can find the targeted customers or market if we are sure about the solution and the special features. The only thing that will be left is to sell. That can be figured by finding out the purchasing power of your customers and finding out what kind of distributional channels that your customers prefer. These two will help you find the right price for the product and developing distribution channels.
This breakdown approach can give you ways to understand the problem, developing solution, finding right market and selling that. We will have to look for known knowns, known unknowns, unknown knowns and unknown unknowns. Instead of spiraling later in these, it’s better to get rounded initially.
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