It’s pretty common for people who are new to product development to think that product discovery is a process, but we need to understand that’s incorrect. The correct definition is:
Product discovery is a set of tools to help us mitigate the risks of product development.
First, we need to understand that product discovery has a very clear objective, risk mitigation of product development. Why? Because product development is a very expansive endeavor. Normally, this team is a big part of the company’s costs, so we need to be as sure as possible that we are investing their time in developing things that will help the company reach its objectives while will solve a problem or will address a need of the customers.
What types of risks are we talking about? If we search for types of risks in business on Google, we will find many types of risks. Some articles are even talking about ten types of risks. Marty Cagan talks about four types of risks:
Even though I understand this need to categorize the types of risks of developing a product, the type of risk is not as crucial as it is the risk’s priority, i.e., knowing which risk has the biggest potential to be a significant obstacle to the success of the product. Remember, we want to develop a product that will help the company that owns the product reach its objectives while solving a problem or addressing a need of the customers of that company. That’s what it means to build a successful product.
For this reason, we need to identify and prioritize the risks. After prioritizing the risks, we use Product Discovery as the set of tools that help us mitigate these risks. I explained that Product Discovery has two sides, problem discovery, and solution discovery. Let me give you some examples.
ContaCal: Simple and efficient system to control daily calories
- There’s no magic solution: To lose weight we need to eat last calories than we use
- ContaCal will help you: the ideal solution to control your calorie daily intake and help in your nutritional education
- One month free: so you can test the service. After that, you will pay U$ 3,99 per month.
Please fill out the form below to receive news about this service.
Get to know more about this service in our blog.
Solution discovery: Here’s another example, now a solution discovery example. Richard and Maurice McDonald, known as the McDonald Brothers, were American entrepreneurs who founded the fast food company McDonald’s. Their story was told in the movie The Founder, and there’s a very interesting scene where the McDonald brothers explain how they figured out the best kitchen layout to speed up order processing. A very interesting solution discovery process:
As we can see, we can be very creative when it comes to discovering how we will mitigate a certain risk. The important thing is that we know the main risks and then discover how to mitigate them as fast as possible.
I’ve been helping companies bridge the gap between business and technology through training, coaching, and advisory services on digital product development and management. Check here how I can help you and your company.
I write regularly about product management, product development, digital product leadership, and digital transformation. You can receive a notification whenever I publish a new article, without depending on any social network algorithms to notify you! Just subscribe to my newsletter.
Do you work with digital products? Do you want to know more about how to manage a digital product to increase its chances of success, solve its user’s problems and achieve the company objectives? Check out my Digital Product Management bundle with my 3 books where I share what I learned during my 30+ years of experience in creating and managing digital products:
You can also acquire the books individually, by clicking on their titles above.