Being a Nerd

I was at a networking event tonight and was asked what I did for a living. Without thought, I said that I was an Adventure Nerd. What was that?

“Adventure Nerd” came from a conversation that I had a few days ago with a friend. Not so long ago, I would have bristled about being called a nerd. When I grew up, it was NOT a complimentary term. I still have mental images from old TV shows and movies where the nerds are chased down the street, with unpleasant things happening to them when they are caught.

But now, I realize that I am one of the original nerds. And I know more Nerds – exactly one Yoga Nerd, several Sports Nerds, and city’s full of Technology Nerds, so why not an Adventure Nerd? I AM NERD!

DIY Application Development

So you have a great idea for an App? And now you want to build it.

You have two options:

  1. Save money by building it yourself, or at least doing as much as you can within your skills set.
  2. Hiring a qualified person to design and build it for you.

This article introduces the concepts and high level workflow of creating an App, and walks you some of the many concepts and issues to be addressed getting your App onto the market.

1. Validate Your Idea

Before you begin, examine whether you have:
• Clearly identified the value of your app.
• Clearly identified your target audience.
• Clearly identified your solution and its value.

Not sure how?

Find Out More

2. Spec It Out

You need to decide on the design and technical specs of your app. What about the UX and UI design? Which platforms? How will it make you money?

There are so many things to consider. Luckily, I have some detailed guidelines for you.

Read the Guidelines

3. Develop a Prototype & Test it

Prototyping allows you to visually ‘play’ with your ideas and concepts, while providing invaluable feedback. Not sure how to build a prototype?

Ideas on creating a Prototype

4. Build your App

This is where you finally turn your dream into a reality.

 

5. Support your App

The App is ready to go. This is what you need to generate revenue.

Considerations to generating income with your App

Developing a Technology Application is not a Product Strategy

After developing close to 100 websites, platforms and applications, I have learned that the majaority of my prospective clients did not have a product strategy. They have a good idea of the functionality they wanted to build … and much less knowledge of how to charge for it, manage and sustain the technology platform, or how to provide the post-implementation services that would allow them to grow the business.

“Product Strategy is the intangible creation and management of a strategy that brings a product to market and creates revenue from satisfied users”

The ability to idea and create online products and applications has never been easier. One contemporary philosophy says that going full speed to create a MVP (minimum viable product) will let you know whether your solution can garner sufficient clients, and create interest amongst investors. (If you more information on developing an App, read this. )

The Interface is not the Solution.

So what does product strategy really mean? Product strategy covers what can be separated into entire roles or careers, or tactical roles that we move into and out of as required.

For early stage applications, there can be a difference between what product strategy covers, and the roles that we get caught up in.

Product Strategy is …

  • Discover Market Problems
  • Win/Loss Analysis
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Internal Assets
  • Define the market(s)
  • Channel Strategy
  • Product Design & Build Strategy
  • Portfolio Positioning
  • Product Roadmap
  • Business Planning
  • Pricing Models
  • Determine & Manage KPI’s
  • Positioning
  • Buying Personas/Use Cases
  • Team Development
  • Stakeholder Communication
  • Product Marketing Plan
  • Customer Acquisition
  • Customer Loyalty
  • Launch Planning
  • Thought Leadership
  • Lead Generation / Sales Funnel
  • Testimonials
  • Sales Tools and Capability
  • Channel Sales Tools and Capability
  • Event Tools and Collateral
  • Customer Support Tools & Capability
How most founders see Product Strategy …

  • Discover Market Problems
  • Win/Loss Analysis
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Internal Assets
  • Define the market(s)
  • Channel Strategy
  • Product Design & Build Strategy
  • Portfolio Positioning
  • Product Roadmap
  • Business Planning
  • Pricing Models
  • Determine & Manage KPI’s
  • Positioning
  • Buying Personas/Use Cases
  • Team Development
  • Stakeholder Communication
  • Product Marketing Plan
  • Customer Acquisition
  • Customer Loyalty
  • Launch Planning
  • Thought Leadership
  • Lead Generation / Sales Funnel
  • Testimonials
  • Sales Tools and Capability
  • Channel Sales Tools and Capability
  • Event Tools and Collateral
  • Customer Support Tools & Capability

Product strategy requires the integration of all these roles by a small, high functioning team. It is the integration – the connection of the various roles – that is the secret sauce that creates a sound product strategy.

One note about your team. Since there are many moving parts of designing, developing and the operational management of an App or platform, the team grows and shrinks depending on the stage. In the full scope of an App build, you can expect to have the following skillsets on your team:

  • Marketing
  • Sales Technical Writing
  • User Experience (UX)
  • IT infrastructure
  • Developers/Programmers
  • QA/Tester
  • System Administrator
  • Customer Service

If you are thinking of developing an APP, take the time to define a robust product strategy. You’ll be happy that you did.

 

How do you define product strategy?

Knowing how to make and deliver a product that is enjoyable to use allows you to leverage your design against what is technologically feasible, stretching your influence from hitting key business benchmarks now to creating a digital product that pushes the boundaries of your business in the future.

Building a product is more than just designing it and developing the MVP. A product strategy considers the product competition and relative position, the products’ business model, and the messaging and client communication used to help plan out what to build and when.

There are 7 general categories of product strategy; Market, Product, Business, Planning, Programs, Readiness and Support, each with numerous subcategory defining various elements of design, development and delivery of your product.

Here’s a couple of thought that will help guide your product strategy:

Your opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant.
Reaching out to potential users of your product is the only way that you will define what they need. Any other approach will cause you to spend time, energy and money that will likely not work and not be recoverable.

The answer to most of your questions is not in the building.
Product design, product roadmaps, distribution strategy, competitive landscapes, pricing models, buying processes, user requirements, stakeholder communications, user and channel training, sales support, and customer support requirements all require you to reach out externally.

As good as plans are, product strategy involves testing product assumptions with real users against your business strategy. To create a digital product that is both innovative and competitive, understanding the domain you are engaged with, who your users are, and what differentiates you is imperative.

Need help with your product strategy? Contact me to discuss your product strategy challenges.