Product development is a deep rooted passion in my life. I am passionate about the creation of anything. Not just physical products, but this is a compulsion around innovative thinking. When I sit back and watch what humans have created it is sweet, but the details of how that happened is what I really get out of it.
I think that’s it for me. It’s the hunt. The adventure of creating new. Because along this adventure of creating new, you create more new, or you solve old. Solving old is so good. Sometimes solving old problems is the core reason why we attempt something new.
This brings me to the overarching point of wanting to write. I feel like I have solved some big problems with some pretty awesome people. I am proud of the products that have come to market and the difference it has made and lives they have saved. Just as important, well probably more important to me, is what went on behind he scenes.
There is this revolution of “Lean Thinking”, “Business Model Generation”, “Four Steps to Product Development” in our culture today. It is fantastic. It has created a huge behavioral change in young and old. The young are really thankful they aren’t writing 50 page static business plans. The old are thankful as well, but more importantly it has been a hall pass on the way you approach new problems in a big organization.
Product development is relatively simple in a small start-up. In comparison there are more complicated issues in a larger corporation. Ironically most of those stem from political power struggles within the organization in my experience.
When I developed my first product in a small start-up. These concepts and books did not exist. I wrote a static 50 page business plan (I will post this for you all to enjoy) The product was trying to solve a fundamental problem in my field of expertise. So I choose to solve it in my own way, through my own lens. In its simplest for it worked. I built a product that solved the problem. The story is crazy and meant for another post.
What I’m trying to really get at is the product was cool but the conversations I had with users while developing was so engaging and exciting to me. Its that anxious feeling your get. Adrenaline running through me. It was addicting to watch people use or talk about this product that we had developed. It was awesome to make changes and show the product after the modifications. People’s eyes and facial expressions. People became elated! But more importantly they became ambassadors of my mission. This is where and interstate started to connect. You develop a product that could be half baked and then you make customer driven product changes and they then market for you. Could this be it. The secret sauce to success. Maybe...just maybe we have cracked the code to customer development.