Do you ‘want’ to use your product?

Why do you do so, and how the answer to that question will make your product better

The story of how Rent The Runway came to be. (Link)

Jenn wondered, wouldn’t it be so much smarter if we could rent designer items rather than purchase them? She returned to Harvard Business School and shared the idea with her friend, Jenny.

HOW AIRBNB CAME TO BE

It’s late 2007 in San Francisco. Airbnb founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia just moved from New York. Without employment, they were having trouble paying their rent and were looking for a way to earn some extra cash.They noticed that all hotel rooms in the city were booked, as the local Industrial Design conference attracted a lot of visitors.

The youngsters saw an opportunity. They bought a few airbeds and quickly put up a site called “Air Bed and Breakfast.” The idea was to offer visitors a place to sleep and breakfast in the morning. They charged $80 each a night.The idea succeeded and the first Airbnb guests were born: a 30-year-old Indian man, a 35-year-old woman from Boston and a 45-year-old father of four from Utah sleeping on their floor.

The naysayers for Airbnb

ALWAYS START WITH BUILDING FOR ONE

Is this something I can see myself growing to like some day or is this something I so very much need today — urgently, desperately?

Why is that important?

SO. WHO WANTS IT RIGHT NOW?

Putting yourself in your consumers’ shoes is an absolute must, but the process of finding the product market fit becomes exponentially faster once you are both the creator as well as a ‘genuine’ consumer of the service.

  1. Continuing to use and experience your own product.
  2. Finding more like-minded people who would find same/similar level of usefulness from the product.
  3. Figuring out what else could increase the usefulness of that product to “you”.
  4. What ‘incremental’ changes and adjustments could be made to the product, if any, that could widen the target audience.

FEW THINGS TO NOTE THOUGH

  1. Be the most vocal critic of your system: A lot of consumers out there, if not most, are going to be unforgiving. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be.
  2. Don’t get sucked into the illusion of wishful thinking: Don’t justify the ‘non-usefulness of your product to you’ with the logic that there would be others out there for whom it would be useful. Either you have a user who would love to you use this product over and over again, or you don’t. There can’t be a layer of mist between the product and that one user who supposedly would fall in love with the product.
  3. Don’t justify inefficiencies and fallacies in the system: I have come across entrepreneurs who were building a product that they were sure of on the usefulness of it. Why? Because they can name five different problems that they think their target audience is facing. Any question or apprehension you may have, they will justify it by saying that since there is so much pain point the customers have, they will not mind putting in some delta effort. It doesn’t work that way, so don’t do that.

WHERE DO YOU GO FROM THERE?

SO, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

  1. Identify a problem, or a need that you can relate to. Preferably a need you yourself have, but failing that, at least one that you can relate to via someone you closely know.
  2. Make that person the anchor. Tether your problem/product/service to that one person and focus on solving that problem in a way that the ‘customer’ wants to use your product/services over and over again.
  3. Start finding consumers who are similar to your tethering customer, and start expanding your pool of consumers.
  4. See how you can add more value to the lives of your existing consumers, and/or what tweaks/tune-ups can help you cater to a wider base of consumers — while maintaining the basic underlying philosophy of coming up with a product that your consumers want and love to use.

That’s it for today. See you tomorrow!

Twitter | Facebook | Quora | LinkedIn | E-mail
Click here to join the mailing list

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Abhishek Anand

Helping businesses grow 10x faster, and scale efficiently. Top Writer — Quora, Medium. Drop in a line if you’d like help with yours. mail@abyshake.com