Friday, March 12, 2010

Who values your product and do you value them?



We have reached the most critical point on a project I'm working on. After a few months we think we know enough about the domain and application to build a product road map that will take us to the first public release. The proof of concept is complete. The design team has created a remarkable, genera changing product. Additionally, the system is designed around real users we have been able to talk to and get feedback from. We have put together an unbelievably good development team and built a backlog of stories with estimates. We have been here before. Putting together a design and backlog of stories is something we have done countless times...

The easy part is over. Now the hard part begins.

Our research and user feedback tells us we have multiple potentialcustomer groups we can build the system for. On one hand this is great news. We have a number of potential markets to choose from. On the other, we don't have an infinite amount of time and money to build it for all of these groups. We have to commit and go all in with one group. Right now, these are just some of the questions we are asking ourselves now:

  • What customer group do we value the most?

  • What features do they value the most?

  • How expensive is it to build the ultimate product for each group?

  • What is the minimum viable product we can build for each group?

  • Which group is most likely to give feedback and partner with us to help refine our product?

  • How much feedback is this group likely to give you?

  • Are we missing some market window by passing on one group v.s. another?



This is a critical point in the product's design. Whichever user group we choose will be our customers. Or another way of saying it: They will be our ONLY customers. Other customer groups aren't likely to be interested because we aren't building any features for them yet.

When designing a product do you consider what customer groups you are including and excluding? Are you going to be happy with that choice for the foreseeable future?

:: Originally Posted on Pathfinder Development's Blog ::

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