Product development is one of six foundational skills/services I leverage in my work in investment analysis. I also do product development projects stand-alone or bundled with other services:
- Opportunity recognition
- Venture design
- Team building
- Customer development
- Product development (this service)
- Product growth
Product development is the process of taking a product from concept to market release and beyond. Tightly coupled with a customer development process, this is the product's entire journey, including:
- Conceptualizing and designing the product
- Creating the product roadmap
- Building a minimum viable product (MVP)
- Releasing the MVP to users
- Iterating based on feedback
Product planning is prioritizing which opportunities to pursue. This is documented in a product roadmap and is driven by a customer development or product growth process and an associated north star metric.
Product discovery is evaluating the evidence of value, feasibility and usability of the product. This effort should be coupled with a customer development process and is documented in a concept brief.
The next step in product discovery is to use the jobs-to-be-done framework with user personas from the customer development process to document product requirements as user stories. These user stories should be as detailed and specific as possible and are documented in a Product Requirements Document (PRD). Additionally, wireframes for each possible user interface and a user flow to explain the user journey must be developed.
Product execution is guiding and supporting the design, building and testing of the product. This marries an ongoing customer development process with a design function focused on ease-of-use and usability and an agile engineering function focused on solving technical challenges and who needs support making a variety of typical tradeoffs (e.g. speed of development vs extensibility).
Product launch is releasing the product or feature according to your go-to-market strategy. This strategy details the timing and requirements of product marketing and pre-launch, launch, and post-launch activities.
With the product or feature launched, it's time to evaluate results on key metrics and iterate if necessary. It's also time to do a feature audit to identify which features worked well and which didn't before beginning the entire product development .
What is my product development experience?
I've built and managed dozens of software products over a span of two decades.
- In 1997, I built a web publishing platform that I sold to more than 250 schools.
- In 1998, I built an enterprise intranet platform I sold to Nissan North America, Computer Associates, and Pinkerton.
- In 2000, a designed a Java SDK for a wireless location server and built reference applications for a Sun Microsystems wireless investment.
- In 2003, I was a product manager at Palm, driving key user interface improvements to Palm's email product and developing concepts for new entertainment focused wireless devices.
- In 2005, I founded 3jam and created the world's first reply-all group texting service, growing the service to millions of users while leading the product and engineering teams.
- In 2010, I worked as a consultant for eBay to develop a product strategy and requirements for combining their classified and classic businesses in mobile.
- In 2011 I took over both the VP Product and VP Engineering roles at Zvents, re-built my team to 25 engineers, designers and product managers while managing a SAAS search platform that serviced 75 million users annually.
After selling Zvents to eBay in 2012, I've lead many other product and engineering teams, including the product and engineering teams launching a small business text messaging service for Ooma (NASDAQ: OOMA).
What make me unique? I'm as comfortable writing code as writing requirements.
If you'd like to know more about how I can help your organization, please send me a message. I would love to talk.