Am developing a new product. What should i develop first?

We know what we want to build. But we are not sure, what to start with?

This is one of the questions i end up discussing very frequently during my consulting engagements.

Am sure we all agree that there is no straight forward answer to this.

Let us take my favorite example – an eCommerce store. Assume that you are developing an eCommerce application which is going to sell furniture’s.

What are the features one would require?

To sell the furniture, i need a way to
– manage the categories of furniture i am going to sell
– manage the furniture’s in the category
– manage the price for the furniture’s
– manage the orders and fulfill them
– Have a website where users can browse the furniture’s, search for a furniture, view the furniture detail, enter the quantity and place order.
– ….
– ….

Get Started

When i was a developer, if you would have asked me this question on what to start with, i would have said you need a good database design, screens to manage the master data before we can do the eCommerce application.

After burning my hands multiple times with new product development, my current answer would be to build the most important feature from in this list without which the eCommerce store is useless.

Take the Groupon example which Eric Ries talked in his book Lean Start up. Groupon first built their site using a word press blog, maintained those pages on a daily basis, went to market, took the feedback before building the actual website.

The Key here is to look at the pieces in the equation that cannot be removed.

I can maintain my master data even using scripts. But without the eCommerce website (it could even be a blog) you may not be able to sell anything. Start building things which are the core of your system.

Do not waste your time in building things which are not highly important. All those subsidiary features can be built later.

IMHO, The most important role in product development is Product Owner. If you have one, who can do the right prioritization i am sure you will have a successful product.

A Related example:

Start at the epicenter

Happy Learning!!!!

Image courtesy of idea go/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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One thought on “Am developing a new product. What should i develop first?

  1. Agreed with “The most important role in product development is Product Owner. If you have one, who can do the right prioritization i am sure you will have a successful product.”, if all in team do not have prior experience, one needs to take this role of Product Owner and is better than not having a Product Owner

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