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.