Jens Laufer
writes about Software Development, Data Science, Entrepreneurship, Traveling and Sports

What are some steps to make an idea into a product?

Photo by Daniel Lee on Unsplash

First and foremost: Do not fall into the trap of doing product development for months for a product nobody wants. Know your customers and know where they are hanging around from day 1. Follow these steps:

1. Answer the question: Who are your customers, and where are they?

You need to identify your marketing channels for your idea.

Before starting the product development, you must identify who your customers are. Don’t create products for everybody, as they are difficult to market.

Then you have to check where are your customers are hanging around.

For online products, e.g.:

The number of channels is endless. Check how many “members” these channels have, as a hint for market size. You don’t want to create a product for just a few customers.

Check what the customers are searching for with the Google Keyword Planner.

2. Connect with your customers and learn from them

Connect with your customers to build up a customer base. They may follow you on Social Media, or you collect their email addresses on your website. You can build a landing page for your not-yet-ready-product, but customers can already pre-register. The key is to give away something valuable in exchange for an email address, such as whitepapers, cheat sheets or free ebooks.

You may also write some blog articles about customer problems and solutions. Five high-quality posts are OK in the beginning.

Try to answer every question and learn from these questions. Be helpful on forums or Reddit. This way, you build up trust and credibility. Be the authority in your field.

Don’t spend too much time on the design. The website must not be perfect, but the content has to be of high quality.

3. Build minimum viable products

Now, it’s time to build a first minimal product with just the most essential features. Get the product in front of a few customers to not burn your complete customer base. Look for helpful and tolerant early adopter customers that are keen for a solution for their problem, but willing to use a not yet perfect product.

Try to get feedback for the product, be open to critique. Try to change later minimal viable product according to the review.

Do several minimal viable product iterations. Your primary should be not the money but to learn from the customers to get an optimal product-market-fit.

After reaching the product-market-fit, you can increase your marketing efforts, and the money will come.

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