So you have a great idea of a new product or feature. Anyway, how will you know that anyone else will like it and, more importantly, also use it?
Inspired by Marc Andreessen’s tweets, Hutch Carpenter asks three questions to evaluate the possible adoption of a product:
- Does the idea target an actual job-to-be-done that enough people have?
- Is the idea a meaningful improvement over the current way people fulfill their job-to-be-done?
- Does the value of the idea to customers exceed the cost of the idea to them?
You can also rate the answers and display them in a kind of dashboard, but that’s all eye candy.
It is common practice to create Business Cases for new products or major features. The makes sense, of course: Developing a feature creates direct and indirect costs. Therefore, business management expects a Return on Investment (ROI). However, when product managers see themselves as the experts, and they have a great idea, how can business people not understand the benefit of it? So the Business Case must supposedly convey exactly what business management needs to approve it.
Ian Lunn states why this is wrong in this blog post. A good Business Case must show accurate, true and complete information. Ian Lunn has a nice picture showing the difference between common (bad) Business Cases and ideal (good) Business Cases.