After working with a variety of tools purporting to help define and develop new products, I can tell you I’m frustrated.
I’m frustrated by how difficult they are;
- to use. Both ‘in the lab’ and ‘in the field’
- to iterate on
- to write from the customers’ perspective.
Even something as basic as the underlying need, whether articulated as a ‘customer pain’ or a ‘painkiller’ or a ‘need’ (vs. a ‘nice to have’) the final articulation is often too abstract and overarching to be understood by anyone other than the team that wrote it.
What’s needed is a clear, single sentence that can be memorized and repeated whenever anyone asks, “What are you working on?” or “What do you do?”.
Here is that sentence:
What’s great about this sentence – it works equally well whether you have an actual product or not. This means it’s well suite to the initial customer discovery process, incrementally getting more specific on both the customer segment and the specific activity as you become expert in the market.
Like so many of these tools, one way to test out their effectiveness is to try them out with known products. Here’s a couple off the top of my head, maybe you can guess who I’m referring to:
“I help parents with young children frustrated by how difficult it is to know their kids are watching age-appropriate content during discretionary screen time.“
“I help small business owners frustrated by how difficult it is to integrate credit card processing into their online offerings.”
“I help software executives frustrated by how difficult it is to make products their customers will actually pay for.”