5 March 2019 (updated: 29 October 2020) by
Sona Kerim Sona Kerim
A simple guide to help you turn your brilliant business ideas into successful digital products.
So you have an idea for a digital product, web app or mobile app, that would be a great idea for a business. But you aren’t sure what you’re supposed to do next? This article will be a simple guide to help you figure out what you need to do when you’ve got an awesome idea but need a little guidance on how to bring it to fruition.
Research assumed user target group
Ask around, post on social media or run some tests — find out what problems your assumed target group are having! If products like this already exist, you can find out what your assumed target group struggles with.
If the product doesn’t exist, you should ask these people about the challenges they face, the steps they go through and the emotions they feel in the process.
Talk about your idea a lot
And we do mean A LOT! The more you talk about your idea the more you’ll work through the details and the kinks of your product idea. We sometimes say “Two heads are better than one”, but with creating a new product the more feedback you get, the more ideas you will have to improve the concept.
Don’t be afraid that if you talk about your ideas you’ll lose your brilliant opportunity. The reality is many people have probably already had the same idea you have. Especially with digital products, it’s not just about the idea, it’s about execution.
Millions of people can have the same idea, but the products with the best execution are the ones that will succeed. For example, social networking products or applications for ordering taxis. Both of these have been done many times over, but we can easily name the top products for each of these. This is not because their idea was so new and different, but because they considered which problems needed to be solved, executed their solutions well and iterated countless times.
Solve the problems from your initial research
Find out exactly which problems you want to solve from your previous research on your assumed target group. Once you’ve determined which problems you want to solve, you’ll need to start thinking about how to solve those problems! Do some research and see if there are existing solutions to these problems, and combine these with some new ideas you might have on how to improve on those as well. The more quality research you do through various methods and sources, the better you’ll be at solving these problems.
Fill out a Business Model Canvas
Filling in a business model canvas will help you to visualize all the important elements of your product! In this canvas, you would fill information like you Key Partners, Key Activities, Customer Segments, Cost Structure and more. The goal is to break down key elements of your business idea to create a well-rounded model. You can download the Business Model Canvas here.
This is a great resource that you can take with you to workshops and meetings when you begin seeking out which software house you want to partner with. The more extensively you fill-in this model, the better your new partner will understand exactly what your goals are, as well as your needs.
Complete your Value Proposition Canvas
Your Value Proposition Canvas will help you determine exactly how your products will solve certain problems. In one half of this document, you will fill out information such as Gains, Customer jobs and Pains, and then determine solutions for these in the other half. Here is a downloadable Value Proposition Canvas. If your product doesn’t offer value to your potential users, it won’t succeed. It’s so important to create a visual representation of the problems you have determined need solving, but also how you will go about solving these problems. Remember that your product does not need to solve ALL of the problems. It’s better to focus on small things and do them right, rather than trying to save the world. For a more detailed description of how to fill in these Canvases, this article is a great resource.
Finally, find the best partner
The final, but not so final step, would be to find yourself a great partner. Look for companies that will run workshops, and take the time to really get to know you and your business needs. They should use your well-filled-in Canvases as a foundation for your products, but also do extensive work with you to create user personas and focus on user experience.
Ensure you are looking for a partner who is transparent in everything they are doing, and are extremely invested not just in building your product, but in the success of your business.