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Ready for Week 3?

Watch Alex Cowan provide an overview of the upcoming week: exploring new product ideas.
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In this week, we’re going to talk about new products. And this also applies to large new features. Sometimes, the line between feature and products can kind of blur a little bit. What’s critical here, is that the methods you’ve learned in week one and week two, apply somewhat differently in terms of focus to new products versus extending and optimizing existing products. So this week, we’re going to focus on new products. And the key thing is that, building a new product is not really about building a new product. It’s about exploring a new idea, a new offering, and seeing if you should build it or not. And being on a learning centric mission, rather than a scaling centric mission.
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And it sounds very intellectual and [INAUDIBLE], but its very, very practical. And when you approach things with a new product the way you approach an existing product, drafting going to create waste and you’re going to minimize the opportunities to fill. The key with a new product is that, maybe they have a one in ten chance of succeeding. But, if you create a lot of iterative opportunities to take lots of shots at that, even the improbable becomes highly probable. And that’s what you’re going to learn about here in week three. We will among other things use these four steps from the Epiphany, a Steve Blank technique. So we’re going to talk about how you move across these four steps.
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They’re a great way to both create a charter for this new product, and get the right kind of resources at the right time, so you don’t get distracted by resources you don’t need. And that you kind of keep your powder dry, for when you do need them. And they’re a great way to communicate to management what you’re going to do. And then they’re a great way to manage your team and your work around this new product. Customer Discovery is about going out and learning about what’s going on with customers, you’re figuring out what problem you really should solve. You exit this with a product proxy for testing value called an MVP.
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And then you test like a scientist to see whether or not you really have a value proposition that the customer is going to buy into, before you go up and build stuff. You exit this Customer Validation phase with what we call a Product Market Fit. So evidence, validated learning that you have a product that you can sell to a certain market on a non-trivial basis. And it’s time to go and see how much you can amplify that through customer, what we call Customer Creations. Scaling that product market fit. Smoothing out the rough edges in the customer journey and really seeing how big you can make this business.
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And then, as we achieve massive skill, we’re going to company building phase and it starts all over again. Because, and we’re also going to learn how successful corporations durable innovators, create an innovation pipeline. Where they’re using resources of their existing businesses to thoughtfully and expeditiously fund new product ideas to create their next hit. As you mature your new product, we’re going to look at how to use the business model canvass to take this dimension of desirability. Which is really the first thing you need to focus on, if you don’t have that, these other stuff is a distraction.
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But once you do have it, we’re going to look at how we take this and how we really round out the dimensions of feasibility and viability in your business model. And we create a nice, testable focus. And we create an easy way to look at how the whole product’s business model kind of hangs together. What’s nice about this is it’s on one page. It’s really easy to sketch. It’s really easy to iterate on. And unlike a big, long plan, people will actually look at it, and for the most part, read it and talk to you about it, which is what you need. To drive to that really strong inter-disciplinary collaboration, which is the heart of making all these stuff happen.
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So that’s where we’re going to focus in week three, I hope you’re looking forward to getting started, just like I am.

In this video, Alex introduces different ways to focus on new products and features. The methods learned in weeks one and two of this course apply to new products somewhat differently, so Alex will be discussing those and applying new methods. Review your notes from weeks one and two to prepare for this week’s concepts.

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Digital Product Management

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