It’s no secret that creativity is essential for business success. After all, the world’s most successful companies are the ones that have continually innovated and disrupted their industries. Most business owners can tell you why subscriptions and recurring revenue are suitable for modern businesses. But what’s less well known is how a company can maintain a high level of business success over time.
The short answer is a product discovery team. A longer answer is that success is a fickle beast. You can work for an entire lifetime to build a high-profile business only to have it devalued due to some recent techno-economic change or change to the opportunity space. One minute you got a runaway hit that demands premium pricing, and the next, your business is an also-ran that’s losing market share to good-enough solutions.
What is a product discovery team?
A product discovery team is a group of people who are responsible for figuring out what products to invest in or opportunities a company should pursue. This includes researching and analyzing potential product opportunities, as well as designing and testing prototypes. The team also works to define the target market for each product and determine its feasibility.
Why does your company need a product discovery team?
Product discovery teams are essential for businesses because they help the business create and evaluate new product opportunities. They typically include representatives from different parts of the company, such as marketing, sales, engineering, and customer service. The goal of these teams is to come up with new opportunities that can be developed into successful products or business lines.
Why do subscription businesses need product discovery teams?
Subscription businesses need to continuously improve their service to retain their customers long-term. This means that they need to be constantly innovating and exploring new product offerings and opportunity spaces. To do this, they need a team dedicated to product discovery – people who can routinely explore new ideas and anticipate changes to the companies opportunity space.
Without this team, the business would be at a disadvantage compared to its competitors. More likely some startups will enter the market and turn their premium offering into a commodity. When companies don’t have product discovery teams complacency sets in, which often leads to suboptimum investment in aging and outdated business solutions.
How does the product discovery process work?
The product discovery process begins with the individual team member’s understanding of the problem to be solved and the work to be done. Each team member then works to come up with potential solutions and test them to see if they actually solve the problem.
The product discovery team does not function as a committee. Each member’s perspective is valued and explored. The goal is not to rapidly coalesce around a single solution. The team finds ways to understand and honor each team member’s viewpoint. It’s important that there is an actual team effort. This process can be difficult, but it ultimately helps the team build a better product.
What are the responsibilities of the product discovery team?
The product discovery team is responsible for coming up with new product opportunities and evaluating them to see if they are viable. They typically include representatives from different parts of the company, such as marketing, sales, engineering, and customer service. The goal of these teams is to come up with new opportunities that can be developed into successful products or business lines.
Traditionally, the product development process has centered on surfacing pain points. The modern teams are responsible for expanding product discovery processes so they will yield more customer wants and desires. Real success is most sustainable when a product or service cross over from simply scathing an itch to becoming a lifestyle.
The team is also responsible for evaluating the competition and deciding how to best position the product in the market. They are also responsible for creating a product roadmap, which outlines the steps they will take to bring the product to market. This includes designing and building prototypes, as well as doing market research to make sure there is a demand for the product.
What is the role of the product manager?
The role of the product manager is to oversee the development and execution of a product strategy. They are responsible for ensuring that the company’s business interests are taken into account, and managing the product’s lifecycle. The product manager is also responsible for cross-functional collaboration within a team.
The product manager should not be a dictator, but rather a facilitator or coach. They are evaluated more on the outcomes their teams produce. Prolonging the life of a product that is not profitable or adding features that do not provide value to the customer is not good for the company in the long run. A good product manager understands when it is time to let a product go.
What’s the difference product discovery team and a product team?
Product discovery teams differ from product teams in that they are focused on exploration. Product teams are more maintenance-oriented, and their goal is to exploit features that have already been developed. Product discovery teams are also typically cross-functional, whereas product teams are typically dominated by members from a single department. This allows product discovery teams to move faster. Assuming you moving in the right direction, this is a good thing.
The product team is primarily concerned about product delivery. The product discovery process is very limited for product teams because they are evaluated by the output they produce. Product teams tend to rely on marketing and senior management to do conduct product discovery. For the record agile development is losing favor in a lot of companies because product teams spend too much time pouring over release schedules and not enough on user research.
What are some product discovery techniques?
The importance of using good product discovery techniques cannot be overstated. By taking the time to use the right techniques, you can ensure that you are creating a product that meets the needs of your customers and provides them with value. This, in turn, can help you to avoid wasting time and resources on a product that is not successful.
Customer feedback is the best product discovery technique because it allows you to organically collect information from your target market. This feedback can help you to understand what features and functions your customers want, as well as what problems they are trying to solve. By understanding these things, you can create a product that meets the needs of your customers and provides them with value.
Customer interviews allow you to proactively determine the popularity of a solution. Additionally, customer interviews can help you to identify potential problems with your proposed solution and correct them before investing additional time and resources. This can help to ensure that your product is successful when it is released.
Focus Groups/Brand Communities
Brand communities are becoming a more popular way to get feedback from customers. They can provide more detailed and actionable insights than focus groups because there is less incentive to please other members. Brand communities can help to build loyalty and advocacy for future products.
Competitor Research is another useful technique for product discovery. By understanding what your competitors are doing, you can gain insights into the opportunity space. New advances in technology will show up here. If a competitor has found a cheaper way to produce a product or support a +service, you need to include it in your product strategy.
Quantitative Data Analysis
Quantitative data analysis can be the most misleading because it can be difficult to accurately interpret the data. This is especially true when there is not a lot of data to analyze. In order to get the most accurate understanding of the data, it is important to carefully examine all of the data and to use proper statistical techniques. It should never be taken at face value and always viewed with a healthy amount of skepticism.
What are the benefits of having a product discovery team?
There are many benefits to having a product discovery team. One of the most important is that they help to ensure that the new products and technologies that are pursued will result in much-loved offerings. The product discovery team will also have a better understanding of the market and which opportunities are being pursued by competitors.
This allows them to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate changes in the market that may obsolete the current product line. Additionally, the team can evaluate the impact changes will have on the customer success strategy, which will result in products that are more successful overall.
You could argue that the biggest benefit that product discovery teams can have is on reducing business bias. Most successful organizations can fall prey to the endowment effect. The endowment effect happens when organizations value past success over future opportunities. Another closely related bias is anchoring bias, which causes companies to value past information over new observations.
How to find the right people for your product discovery team?
The first step in finding the right people for your product discovery team is to look inside your organization for subject matter expertise and complementary strengths. However, you should also be willing to tap into the talent ecosystem that surrounds your organization. It’s better to cannibalize yourself than have someone else do it.
Another way to find the right people for your product discovery team is to use Gallup’s Clifton Strengths assessments. These assessments can help you identify the strengths of your team members and find individuals with complementary skills. You could end up packing your product discovery team with people with similar perspectives and belief systems with a tool like CliftonStrengths.
Product discovery teams are essential for subscription businesses that want to stay relevant, evaluate new product opportunities, and guard against business bias. Establishing a product discovery team helps to ensure that all viable product opportunities are considered before making decisions about which products to develop and bring to market. Additionally, having a cross-functional team that includes representatives from different parts.