12 things you can do to succeed

18 December 2013, 09:50

‘Stop the wishful thinking and get on with some positive action.’ That is what I was thinking when I wrapped up the mini‐series wishful thinking breeds failed products on the usual social channels—twitter, g+, linkedin and xing.

Thus I kicked off a new series: for every wishful thought, I devised a complementary positive action that ships successful products. Below I list the first dozen pairs of these for your reference. If you are a product maker, or manage a product‐shipping organisation, then you can initiate at least one of these today:

Drive your market, beyond your customers’ wildest dreams; stamp out any reactive thinking.
cf. ‘Just ask the customers, they know best.’
Establish technology selection processes where the driver is user value delivery.
cf. ‘Users will love our hot, new technology, they will be queuing around the block.’
Institutionalise QA beyond bugs—of design; its execution; usability; of your communication.
cf. ‘With zero (major) bugs in the tracker, this feature must be working well.’
Improve your product—just because you know it can be done better: design it, test it, ship it.
cf. ‘But why? nobody ever complained about that.’
Pick the right defaults for your product; let users configure it by ‘just putting it right.’
cf. ‘We’ll leave that choice to our users, via a setting in the preferences.’
Get the usability right early on, then follow through on the design details to the very end.
cf. ‘In this phase of development, usability is a nice‐to‑have.’
Establish a design department, working at eye‑level with product management and engineering.
cf. ‘Our product designers are part of the [marketing, engineering, product, operations] department.’
Improve the status quo—because you know it can be done better: design it, test it, ship it.
cf. ‘This is what users are used to; we better not change it.’
Stamp out any notion that making your product is somehow directly related to using it.
cf. ‘We started out by scratching our itch; today, we still make it exactly how we like it.’
Consistently feed qualitative data into your design process; leave numbers to bookkeepers.
cf. ‘With all this quantitative tracking data, we know exactly what works, and what not.’
Plan every version—major and dot—around increased user value; the rest follows from that.
cf. ‘For our next version, we will refactor a lot of the code; a huge effort, so no other changes.’
It is your market, you design what is right for it—in an ever‐changing world.
cf. ‘I can’t see why we would do it differently from how [facebook, microsoft, google, adobe] do it.’

ask not what this blog can do for you…

Now, what can you do? First of all, you can spread the word; share this blog post. Second, the series continues, so I invite you to connect via twitter, g+, linkedin, or xing, and get a fresh jolt of positive action every workday.

And third, if you able and willing to take some positive action, then email or call us. We will happy to help you ship successful products.

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