Thursday, January 24, 2008

Candidate Features

Jim K posted a funny rendition of introspection, that showed that you're wasting your time going through customer change requests, not feature creation requests.

Reading 37 Signals' blog is mind opening. Customers don't typically help define revolutionary jumps in your product development - they ask for things they want - they are focused on what will help them. A customer will not analyze your market and research what will sell effectively. A group of customers will not recommend products to build to win market share from a competitor.

What most feature requests give you is tactical improvement - a small net gain for the product. What product managers need to strive for is the far reaching strategical prowess - setting the product's direction that allows for evolutionary and monumental changes. A strong reminder - when companies lose track of defining themselves and their products, and only follow the incremental improvements suggested, they may end up on a track that wasn't desired.

Innovation is created through research and play, needing trials, fresh ideas, and determination.

1 comment:

Jim Konandreas said...

I didn't want to imply that client feedback isn't important - because it is. It just has to be in the correct setting.

One client submitting feature requests over email or some support system that allows them to give feedback is not ideal.

If you can get two or N clients together to discuss your software's issues, the discussion almost always evolves into comparing their business processes. This is when the keen Product Manager should shine and glean the most important information as to potentially where to take or enhance the product next.