Product Discovery: Why Should We Adopt It

In its essence, Product Discovery is all about reducing the risk of building a product customers don’t need or want.

Many companies – from large corporations to small startups –  assume they’re ready to start building a product before truly understanding their customers and their pain points. This leads to costly expenses that could have been prevented with proper research.

In this blog, we will explain why going through with the Product Discovery process is vital to build products that solve a genuine need for their customers.

Benefits of Product Discovery

In short, you want to make sure the built product is evolving in the right direction. This means maximizing the value delivered to the users, differentiating your products from competitors’ and developing products that are possible to build with available resources. Product Discovery gives you a chance to test a concept with customers in order to develop a product that suits their needs. Let’s take a look at the benefits of adopting a well-conducted Product Discovery process.

To start with, the goal is to create the right product and reduce the risk of building one that is useless. The more knowledge you have about your customer needs, the bigger the difference between failure and success. It is vital that the solution you’re proposing really works for your business. Product Discovery will help you define how beneficial your solution will be and how many customers it will reach.

In addition, Product Discovery will help you avoid going over budget. By learning to prioritize, you can provide better value with the same financial plan. Having a clear understanding of the customer, the problem and the market will keep you from wasting money and time on unattainable goals.

During the process, you can encounter and revoke bad ideas, saving you from spending on an unnecessary investment. At the same time,  Product Discovery will give you a chance to understand the value of your product and the problem it solves for your customers, allowing you to increase its final price.

Certainly, the earlier you detect a risk and clarify any assumptions from your team concerning the new product, the sooner you will be able to address said risks and assumptions. This is another benefit of adopting Product Discovery: uncovering threats to the success of the product that hadn’t been noticed at an early stage.

Put your assumptions on the table and analyze them better before testing with data.

The Risks of Not Doing Product Discovery

What happens when a customer doesn’t really need you? Building products that fail is less likely to happen if you do Product Discovery. Executing ideas without first identifying their values — or jumping to a solution before you understand the problem — will end up in launching a product that doesn’t solve a problem.

One of the benefits Product Discovery gives you is a chance to understand the customer and their pain points in order to create an effective solution. As aforementioned, if you build something that misses the market, you’ll waste time, money and potential customers.

Without a doubt, being empathetic and on the same wavelength as your customers will help you avoid frustration. Thus, it is key that you know exactly who you are targeting as your customer. Understanding the context and their need for the product will serve to support the discovery process in order to improve your company’s results and reach the best business outcomes. Ultimately, making wise decisions that result in a better product and better outcome is what you want to accomplish.

They develop a product that solves an issue but isn’t validated during development

This leads to companies creating a product where the user doesn’t feel like said product solves their issues.

Let’s use a real-life example here. Imagine you want a house built, and you hire out a construction company. However, they never asked you for specifications throughout the building process. By the time the house is done, it’ll check all of your boxes, but would you live in it? The answer is probably no.

This is the reality of software. Unless you have a process and methodology defined throughout the development cycle, it’s hard to have a quality end product.

You need to start validating during the development cycle. Going back to the house example, if the construction company only builds the first floor and then gets feedback, they can more efficiently and effectively build the rest.

Also, this same issue often occurs within the banking sector. They see they have an issue, but they’re so worried about time to market that they create digital products without checking with clients to see if the product will actually solve their problems. They just validate at the end when the product is completed.

Again, you need to always be validating as you go throughout the development cycle.