If you're not a techie, building a product can be intimidating. But it's more than just coding and designing—it's about understanding your customers, knowing what they want and why they'll pay for it.
This guide will help non-tech founders understand the basics of product development; from defining vision to getting feedback from users. If you find yourself as a non-tech founder, rest assured, we will do the best we can to ensure you get the bigger picture.
A product is a digital or physical product that you can sell online to generate revenue. Uber is a digital product. Its business model works by charging a commission from drivers, every time riders pay for the ride.
While not necessary, many SaaS (Software as a Service) products are sold as subscription services online. SEMRush, Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, and Skillshare, are all examples of SaaS products, with a monthly/yearly subscription-based model.
It's important to understand the difference between the three stages a product goes through:
Product development comprises the creation of new products or services. This is done by working with a team of designers and engineers to create a new idea into something that can be used by customers.
Product management is the process of managing all aspects of a product from its inception through to its end-of-life, including planning, organising, and controlling the budget for your product.
Product marketing includes all activities related to promoting your brand or service across multiple platforms, including but not limited to:
Product development, product management, and product marketing are all important in their own right. They each need to work together in order for you to be successful.
Building a product is one of the most rewarding things you can do as an entrepreneur. Here are some of the reasons why:
Here’s why you shouldn’t build a product:
In this chapter, we'll break down the process of finding the right product to build. If you're a non-technical founder, it's important to take time at the start of your product development journey to think about what problem(s) you're solving and whether or not that problem is truly worth solving. You need to be able to articulate why it's worthwhile for someone (your users) outside of yourself or your company's interests.
There are many ways to do this:
and ask them questions about their problems and needs. This is a great way to get feedback from people who have never used your product before. You can also use this information to help you build better features for your customers! Focus on Pain Points - what are the biggest problems that people experience with products in your industry? How do these pain points affect people's lives? Can they be solved or alleviated through technology, and if so how can you do it better than existing solutions?
You know what your product is, but how do you define the vision, business model, and MVP?
What is the inspirational goal of your product? What will it do that no other solution currently does or can do?
This should be a sentence or two. The vision gives context to all other things you'll be defining and helps keep your team aligned. A good example would be: "We want to create an app that uses artificial intelligence to predict customer behavior at restaurants."
How will you make money from this product?
There are several options including:
For now, just think about what makes sense for your idea and write down one option based on what's best for your concept.
A good example would be:
"We'll charge users $4 per month for premium features."
The goal here is not to commit yourself yet as you may bootstrap with ads or even just give away the app for free if it doesn't generate any income.
Get something down so we have some context around this aspect of our business model when talking through pricing strategies later on.
Who is your customer and what do they want? This is a very important question because it will help you to know who to target first, which features should be included in your app, and why.
Collecting feedback from customers is an important part of the product development process. A landing page, survey, review form, and feedback form are all useful tools for collecting customer feedback.
You can create a landing page on your website or use a free service like Unbounce to create one. Once you’ve created a landing page, make sure to link it in your marketing emails and social media posts so people know where they need to go in order to provide their input on your product ideas.
A well-designed survey allows you to ask specific questions about what features customers want most out of the new product idea that you’re working on.
Ensure that each question has only one answer option and that there is some sort of scale (such as 1-5 or poor–excellent) included with each answer choice so people can easily understand what level of importance they should place on each feature when responding back onto the survey itself during its completion process!
A review form is similar to a survey but allows customers to provide more detailed feedback about their thoughts on your new product idea.
This can be especially helpful if you have customers who are in different roles within an organization that will be using this new product.
For example, if you’re creating a new piece of software for HR departments within large companies that need it for onboarding new employees, have each person filling out the review form explain how they would use it and what features would make it easier for them to do their job.
Now that you have an idea for your business and a business model, it's time to start building the product! The process of developing your product is called "Product Management."
We'll walk through the following steps:
Customer Development is the process of finding potential customers, learning about them, and gaining their trust. This step is crucial because it helps you validate your idea and get feedback from real people that will help you build a better product.
Product development is a process, not an event.
Product development is the process of creating an entire product from start to finish. It involves a lot more than just coding and design—it includes market research, product strategy, business development, copywriting, and so on.
If you're interested in building your own product or working with someone else who's building theirs (and why wouldn't you be?), this guide will help you understand what goes into the process and how to get it done right.
In this article, we'll take a look at the most common product development mistakes and how to avoid them. We'll also cover some of the key steps in the process and how to get started on your own product.
It's important to note that these are just guidelines to get you started.
There are many more steps, and some won't be relevant depending on your idea (like publishing an MVP).
Product management is a complicated process that requires experience, so even if you follow these guidelines closely there will be times when you have to improvise or change things up based on what's happening in your business environment.