Nobody Wants Your Product

I’m just going to say it. Don’t be offended, but nobody really wants your product.

I know this isn’t what you want to hear. You’ve put in hours, days, months, and maybe even years creating something that people will love. And you know what? They probably do love it. But, as I realized many years ago, they may not love it for the reasons you think.

Yes, your attention to detail, speed, great design, amazing features, and excellent customer service are all things that make your product great. But it’s the combination of those things plus the ultimate value your product provides that make your customers fall in love with it.

When you stop to think about it, most products are just a means to an end. People aren’t looking for yet another product or tool. Instead, they want what’s on the other end of those things — solutions to their problems. If they could bypass the hassle of having to add another tool to their already complicated lives they probably would. Because of this it is imperative that you make it ridiculously easy for your customers to get the value they’re reaching for.

This is so much more than pixels and features. It’s solving a real problem that your customers have and doing it in a way that requires as little effort from them as possible. You and your product need to shoulder the burden of removing barriers and doing the heavy lifting.

This may sound like common sense. But in the hustle and bustle of product creation and development, it’s easy to unknowingly lose sight of the real value people are after. Instead, other ideas, unnecessary features and competing business priorities get into the mix. Before you know it, your product is cluttered with unsightly barnacles and bumps that make it hard to obtain real value.

One of the things to help prevent this is finding the answers to a few key questions if you haven’t done so already:

  • Who is your target? Who is your product for? Be specific.
  • What are their problems? What’s the value they’re reaching for?
  • Of the problems they have, which ones do you commit to solving?

These questions and their answers are foundational to delivering value. Always point back to them as you build out your product. The answers may change over time as you learn more about your target. That’s okay. What matters is that you are clear on whom your product is for and the value they want. Without this understanding, you’re just a rudderless ship on the shark-infested sea of product competition.