I’ve been working through some idea-generation techniques at Sybase recently in an effort to come up with a (hopefully) brilliant product demo. It needs to show off the capabilities of the product in question while at the same time solving a core issue experienced by a rather large demographic. Make the target too broad and the solution becomes too general and disinteresting to most – make it too targeted and it again loses appeal with many users. So the main point of contention has been this problem. What is the problem I want to solve? And then I realized it.
It shouldn’t be what problem does my product solve – rather, it should be what is the problem I should solve with my product?
I think that becomes a big problems within some companies. There’s a lot of technical know-how and products get created without a target market or need laid out beforehand. It’s the do-it-cause-we-can mentality, but that’s rather pointless if no one wants to buy the end result. Of course, all products should be the result of a need, a requirement for something that resolves an issue or makes life a little more convenient. The difference is that you define the problem to solve and create the product. Otherwise, you have a product and have to scramble to find a problem is can solve. The reaction I want to extract from users of this demo is ‘Ah yes, I hate it when I want to do that and can’t‘. Then I show them how to resolve that with with my product.
So now that I understand what I’m looking for, I just have to find this oh so common but unsolved problem in peoples’ lives. It’s tougher than it sounds.