You can design great products

Designing great products is not easy. Otherwise every product would be great. Your new product must provide real value to users, be financially viable, and delight your users so much that they use it constantly and tell others about it often. Understand the characteristics of great products, why products fail, and what you can do about it.

Several key deliverables are built during the Design phase:

  • Business case – this is your justification to the business explaining why they should invest time and resources to design, build, and launch your new offering. The business case will show financial, market, and customer viability.
  • Routes-To-Markets (RTMs) – generally will include
    • Who are you going to sell the product to (e.g. end users, ISVs, SIs, VARs)?
    • Are your buyers consumers or businesses?
    • Who makes the purchasing decision?
    • Where are they in the world (i.e., do you have a global, regional, or local market for your product)?
    • How will they purchase your product (e.g., via App store or online marketplace, from business partners, on your website, through enterprise sellers)?
  • Go-To-Market Strategy – explains how you will tell the new segments and new markets about your great new product (using the RTMs), as well as how you plan to build an ecosystem that sells, uses, and supports your product.

Products That Count can help

At Products That Count, we believe that everyone can build great products that transform lives and create value at scale.

Products That Count has thousands of free resources to help you when designing great products. Our podcasts, eBooks, videos, articles, blogs, and infographics will help you learn the craft of product

Our resources are straight from the minds of C/VP-level product leaders from companies such as Netflix, Amazon, and Etsy, who understand the unique challenges of product management. These diverse product executives are actively engaging in solving similar challenges to what you’re encountering in your product roles and are excited to share how they’re doing it. Learn how to design, build, and launch great products from practitioners, not consultants.

Here’s how to start

Your approach to designing great products should include these steps:

  • Market & Customer Research – gather information about your target markets and customers. Take note of trends. Are there new technologies like AI or blockchain that your product could incorporate that would be game changers? Know your customers, their pain points, and how they solve those challenges today. Create personas describing your target users, buyers, and influencers.
  • Competitive Analysis – assess the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors. Where are your best opportunities? Where would they threaten the opportunities offered by your new product. A strong tool here is to do a SWOT analysis for each competitor – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. And then do a similar assessment for your product. What would it take for a new offering to displace them in the market?
  • Ideation & Innovation – generate and refine new and innovative solutions to address market and customer problems. Consider existing technology and potential (patent-able) technological innovations. How will you personalize the experience for each user?
  • Product Design – an iterative process to imagine and create products that solve user problems, ensuring your end product is secure, performs well, ethically sound, and can scale globally while being high impact.
  • Prioritization – compromises will need to be made. Sales and business partners will want a wealth of innovative new capabilities to simplify the task of selling the new product, but the Engineering team cannot do everything. If your new offering is part of a platform or system (e.g. Amazon S3 service on AWS), then the strategy of the platform will also come into play during prioritization.
  • Processes, Tools & Frameworks – Frameworks and processes are incredible tools to simplify and communicate how cross-functional teams make decisions, including
    • Methods like Design Thinking for potential feature prioritization across Scope, Cost (cost to build and launch), and Time.
    • Approaches to conducting user research, tracking user interactions and mapping the customer journey and personas.
    • Tracking and communication tools, especially for the product roadmap.
    • Creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is one framework for prioritizing potential product features: delivers value in a pleasing manner, and is financially & technically viable.
  • Product/Market Fit – determine the degree that your product satisfies the market demand you identified in your business case.
  • Strategy & Roadmap – outline the vision, direction, priorities, and progress of your new product over time. The vision will be very broad, generally a few lines that you might hear from a high-level executive. The strategy will be more refined, but still includes broad strokes. The product roadmap is a detailed plan with features and dates. Check out these templates for a Product Requirements Document (PRD) and Product Roadmaps.
  • Growth & Scale – take your product to the next level. This includes to new platforms, new integrations, new partners, new users, and new markets.

Use the best tools for designing great products

The 2022 Product Awards from Products That Count celebrate the tools that give Product Managers their superpowers, enabling them to deliver market-leading products & services that delight existing customers and bring in future customers across current and new markets. Check out the Product Award Series to learn about the award-winning products that you should be using to design great products, including

  • Developing an informed GTM Strategy– explains how you will tell the new segments and new markets about your great new product (using the RTMs), as well as how you plan to build an ecosystem that sells, uses, and supports your product. Download this sample GTM Plan document to get started.
  • Provide a delightful user journey – In every part of the product experience, from the moment someone discovers a pain point they need to solve, to on-boarding, to creative solutioning, to training and learning, and to creating a passionate community, there is a journey.
  • Address scale & complexity – take your product to the next level.
  • Empower the whole human – Empower people in mind, body, and spirit. Create beautiful, useful, and interesting things that help us be better.
  • Responsive Product Accountability – define and communicate success metrics to help business leaders chart their direction.

Continue the journey

Characteristics of Great Product

What makes a product great?

Great Products
FAQs about Great Products

Get your pressing questions answered.

Building Great Products

Build the products you envision and the market wants.

Launching Great Products

Kickstart Sales with a launch that creates a buzz in the market.


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