Product Vision - Part 1

The First Steps To Success

Product development best practices series

This is the first in a series of blogs that will explore some best practices in product development. Whether you are developing a product for the medical, clean-tech, consumer, transportation or any other industry, designing and delivering a rewarding user experience can make the difference between product success and product failure. Let’s explore some of these essential practices, beginning with the concept of product vision.

Product Vision is the first step to success

The journey from product concept to market delivery is so challenging that many product ideas never actually become products. But what allows some product ideas to reach their full market potential while others don’t?

Lets use the hypothetical story of Mike, an industrial designer, to explore this topic.  Mike and a small team have recently founded a start-up medical device company, which has developed a breakthrough digital blood pressure device that transmits a user’s results directly to a website that their physician can access.

The data transfer from the device to the website incorporates several security protocols in order to ensure that the user’s information is kept secure. Users can also access the website and view all of their blood pressure information by logging in with a unique number.  

Mike needs to obtain funding for the product, so he sets up a meeting with a group of potential investors. He enthusiastically presents a rough prototype to them, going into great detail about the materials that can be used to construct the actual device, its shape, etc. But to his surprise, he receives a lukewarm reaction from them.

The product vision describes the core reason for creating the product. It lets the stakeholder know why you care about the product and why you are excited to work on it.

Unsure of what he did wrong, Mike confides in one of the stakeholders, who then explains to him that he made the common mistake of assuming that selling the design aspects of his product was enough to get buy-in. She then asks him one simple question: what is the product vision?

Vision is key

The product vision describes the core reason for creating the product. It lets the stakeholder know why you care about the product and why you are excited to work on it. Additionally, it:

  • Demonstrates how the product solves a problem or fulfills a need, what the product benefits are and who benefits most from it.
  • Provides a realistic path to product delivery and details important information such as what resources will be required, the estimated development costs, and the projected revenue streams.
  • Includes a value proposition that describes who the end users are, why you think they will embrace it, and what will make them buy from you and not a competitor.

You should be able to use a short phrase to describe the goal of the product; preferably something easy to remember that’s also inspirational.

Mike realizes he has more work to do before meeting the stakeholders again. Want to know what happens next? Stay tuned for our next blog.

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