A true product leader knows their market, inside and out. How can you be an expert, if you’re not one already? Pretend you have a magic wand…
When I used to work Bullhorn, two of the strongest product team members, Mitesh Ashar and Kelly McKiernan, built their expertise as industry insiders at the types of businesses that Bullhorn serves. Specifically, they leveraged real-world experience in the staffing industry, and used that as a foundation to build awesome Bullhorn software that serves businesses like the ones they had worked at previously.
If you’re looking to become a Product leader, how can you be an expert? Put yourself on the receiving end of a product research question that a mentor once taught me to use when talking to customers or prospects:
“if you had a magic wand and could change anything, how would you use it and why?”
Imagine you have a magic wand, and that you can use it to solve any problem.
- What problems do your customers face as they go about their everyday lives? Do they get frustrated with the way things are?
- Why did your customers choose to use your software, or not? How might they make it better, or what might push prospects to sign up?
- What problems do your customers face as they go about their business? Do owners or employees spend time and energy on manual tasks or making phone calls when they could otherwise be getting things done?
- Why did your customers pick your software for their workplace? Why might they pick a different provider, or solve their problem some other way?
If you’re an aspiring Product leader, ask your customers and prospects the magic question. Understand your customers, how to help them, and how to help others like them. Be an expert, and use your knowledge to solve real problems.
Have anything to add? Feedback? Disagree? Discuss in the comments, or give me a shout!