For the past four years I’ve been talking with product managers worldwide about what their biggest issues are. Over and over again I’ve been told the same thing: they want to know the correct way to determine just exactly what product their customer really wants.
Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? However, in reality this is one of the most difficult things that we product managers do. What our company is really asking us to do is to look into our magic crystal ball and predict the future: if the company spends the time and money NOW to develop a product, will the customer buy it when it becomes available in the future?
The product managers that I’ve talked to have all been willing to put the time in to do this task correctly, it’s just that they didn’t know HOW to do it. Yes, yes, they knew that they needed to talk to their customers in order to find out what they wanted, but what should they ask them? We’ve all been told that our customers don’t actually know what they want so is it going to do us any good to talk to them?
Even if we were able to get our customers to tell us what they wanted, would they be willing to wait for our product and buy it when it finally came out or would we discover that they had already selected somebody else’s product?
I’ve been there and felt exactly the same things that you are feeling. In fact, I’ve actually made the same guesses that you are making right now and I’ve rolled out products that ended up going nowhere. It was the wrong product, for the wrong customer, at the wrong time. But you know what? I learned from my mistakes.
I went back to the drawing table and reviewed what I had done. By doing this I discovered what I had done wrong. Then I went back came up with another product. I changed what I did. I did different things and I did them in a different order. The product that I launched the next time was not a run-away success, but it sure did better than the failure that I had launched before.
I then went back and once again took apart my product selection process. I inspected everything that I had done and I evaluated what result it had produced. The things that didn’t work, that produced no results, got thrown away. The steps that clearly pointed the way towards creating a product that my customer wanted were kept and refined.
Over the last 10 years I’ve repeated this process countless times and now I have a Product Selection Process (PSP) that really works!
I can’t keep this a secret — it’s too powerful and too many product managers have been asking me for it. Now, the best way for me to share it with you would be for me to gather everyone into a single room and we could all roll up our sleeves and we could review the PSP and I could answer any questions that you might have.
However, because everyone is spread all over the globe and because we all have jobs that we have to keep doing, that’s not going to work. I think that I’ve come up with a good alternative plan.
I’m in the final stages of pulling together a home study course that will have all of the PSP material that you need to know in it. This product is going to be overflowing with the material that everyone has been asking for.
Right now my biggest challenge is to find a way to package it all up so that I can get it to the people who buy it — there’s that much material! I have not finished deciding what’s going to go into the course, but I have made some initial decisions. Since this is a sneak peek, here’s what I’m going to be including in the PSP home study course so far:
I’ve got some more work to do here, but it’s coming! If you’d like me to keep you posted as more information becomes available, sign up for my PSP mailing list and you’ll be the first to know…!
The PSP home study course is coming…
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