Digital products rule the market today. If one ventures into the seemingly lucrative yet extremely challenging world of creating, marketing and selling digital products, then one should be ready for a bumpy ride which, with determination, will reap great rewards.
Being a perfectionist, I’ve always deeply desired to create an ideal product. My ideal product would serve the individual and unique needs of all and would be perfect in every way. But with the digital world getting increasingly dynamic every day, I am forced to ask myself,
‘Does the ideal product even exist?’
WHAT IS AN IDEAL PRODUCT?
While concepting an ideal product, I further ask myself;
- Will I be able to perceive the mindset and priorities of every user?
- Will I be able to perfectly predict the success factors and deploy the right structure?
- Will I be able to invest the time required to launch an ideal product?
- Will I be able to cope up with the innovations emerging every second in the digital world?
- Will I be able to invest the money required to launch an idea product?
And the list is never-ending. Every single step in the digital product’s life, from its inception, to beta testing, to making necessary changes, to the final grand launch – no one step is ‘perfect and ideal’ rather every step is about ‘Striving to be ideal and perfect’. Why?
Because there is always a great inflow of innovative ideas, user needs, and the rival product features that should be continuously factored in one’s own product in a timely manner.
THE RIGHT PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT APPROACH
So here’s the multi-million dollar question: What should be the approach to launch a digital product?
Launching a product at an optimal level is always the smartest and the safest approach. The target audience and the users always determine the success of the product. As there are various stages in the development and then selling of the product, the predictions made about the product’s different stages are definite to undergo various changes by the time the final product hits the market.
EXPECTATIONS VS REALITY
With an optimal approach, the final product may not always be the one you had envisioned. There may be a difference between expectations and reality. The design that you had in mind may not be attractive. The process flow might be riddled with unimaginable difficulties. The user experience may not be engaging and thus be disappointing.
But letting the product go through its various stages is of utmost importance. Because once the product is launched at its optimal level, then the real work begins, as the feedback for the product starts pouring in. User experiences are monitored, you start analyzing the various tools, data sets gathered are analyzed and quantified, there are various conversions, behaviors which were predicted or not predicted are carefully understood and then changes are set afoot. That is the great struggle to make the product ideal.
One of the main reasons why many start-ups fail to make it big is that they launch at minimum viable levels and then do not make the effort to improve.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT VS BLUNDERS
Do not mix both these things! Optimal products have a lot of “room for improvements” but no “blunders”. When calling a product optimal, it actually entails a lot of different things. In its essence, it means it meets the minimum user requirement; it also meets the minimum required standards and needs, of not just the creator but especially the audience.
Launching a ‘minimally viable product’ could also fail fantastically if certain standards aren’t carefully catered. Since the minimally viable product ensures that a basic and workable product hits the market, it is absolutely necessary to be ready for cutbacks and make the required changes.
But even before the actual product is made available to the customers, it is of utmost importance for the creator to ask himself, ‘Who is my product for?’ ‘Do they really need it?’ Determining a specific target segment will help greatly in the minimum viable product.
OPTIMAL PRODUCT VS USER EXPERIENCE
Can user experience be sacrificed with an optimal product approach? Yes!
In product development, as in most things in life, there is no one size fits all. If some users are satisfied, others won’t be. Some users will continue their loyalty with the product, while some will leave for other preferences. So should the creator go bananas over the changes expected by just one customer?
There will probably be thousands of reviews, each with their own unique demands, and it is impossible to cater to all without seriously affecting the purity and integrity of your product. So, yes, at times there will be harsh decisions to be taken and one will need to turn a deaf ear to certain comments, while paving the way for most other changes, which will help in not only improving the product but will definitely help improve the overall user experience.
The key is to not take every bad experience to heart and to always keep learning. And even more importantly, to always keep improving and STRIVING for the best!