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That “go to market” moment

What if we bring the go to market as soon as possible in our design process?

As a designer, big part of my work has being to launch digital products. For a while, during that process, our design time was divided more or less this way:

1. Strategic design Understand the consumer and conceptualise a solution for them

2. Product strategy Collaborate with product and engineers to understand what would be the starting point for our product

3. Product design and build Build the digital product 🖤

4. Go to market Put that digital product on the market. 👀 Observe. 💤 Wait. 😱 No one is coming. Try not to panic. Tweak strategy. Test. Experiment. Still people not coming. Try no to panic again. Experiment. Period

As designers, we are used to dedicate to the parts 1,2,3 most of the planning, love and energy. And only around the end of the project (with the leftovers of all that energy and very little time) we will start to think the last “bit”: the go to market — usually just a pretty landing page with not much though on it. And this is in the best of cases, when we don’t directly handover to the marketing team to do it for us and avoid our go to market responsibilities.

Guess what? That doesn’t work.

Go to market time it’s being consistently the most stressful and disastrous part of any (real) project. We either suffered a lot, or just turn our head to other side and avoid responsibilities, and then blame Marketing. (Yeah, and that is NOT responsible design my friends)

After a handful of painful experiences and some horrible results, we realised it was not a problem of the go to market: the problem is that normally we get the flow all wrong.

  • The process of building a digital product is not linear (not a 1→2→3→4 type of process), but iterative
  • The early you “go to market” the more opportunities you have to iterate and incorporate the learnings in your product
  • You can “go to market” with very little or even non technology, is a matter of getting creative and define the hypothesis you wan to test
  • No matter how good research and product strategy you made. You probably got it wrong, so get ready to pivot
  • Experiment and test with value propositions as you’d do with the product, making sure that you get feedback both from your know customers and your unknown customers. Bring both feedbacks together recurrently and contrast it with your product strategy.

No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first encounter with the main enemy forces.
Helmuth von Moltke

So remember: Let your design ego aside and experiment, go to market as soon as possible and let real feedback affect your product.



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