Have you ever noticed that the best products help you become awesome?
Instagram didn’t become a success because it helped you share your life with friends. Its success was because it made you look like a pro.
With a couple of taps you could take any photo, apply a filter, and your photos looked like they were taken by Annie Leibovitz or Andy Warhol… it also helped with sharing your life with your friends.
The best product people are able to identify the customer's current situation and know where they want to take them. They start by understanding their user better than the customer understands themselves.
It’s a simple strategy which can increase your likelihood of success. A small change in approach, but it goes a long way to ensure you are not missing potential opportunities.
When a customer makes a product selection, their primary motivation is to ensure they can achieve an underlying specific task or outcome. They have identified that something is currently getting in their way. Even better if they find a product that makes them feel like they can be successful along the way.
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.”, Theodore Levitt
Your job as an entrepreneur is to seek to understand their workflow and to design a solution which can solve their problem better, or cheaper than the competition.
Instead, many entrepreneurs seek to build a solution first, and then hope to find a segment that has a problem which can be solved later on.
This approach is proven to be fragile. A CB Insights study of 311 startups found that 42% of new ventures fail because they work on products which nobody wants. Even further, 70% fail to meet their revenue targets.
It’s a great thing to ask yourself. Are you making your customer feel/look awesome? What is the superpower you are giving them?
Focus on the aspiration. Where do you want your customers to go? Your strategy should be to build a bridge which transforms them from their current world to a superhuman with awesome powers.
People don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves.