Product, Product, Product

Matt Harvey, Stanford University December 17, 2012

It’s easy to fall in love with a cool technology or an amazing idea, but can these actually be turned into useful products that customers desire. While visions of huge profits and market domination can begin to dance in the mind of aspiring entrepreneurs, it is a commitment to building valuable products and deeply understanding the problems you are solving for customers that provide the true foundation for success. Here are three videos examining the importance of keeping laser focus on creating products that connect with audiences.

What is a Product?

“Product is everything,” says Smule Co-Founder and CEO Jeff Smith. While his previous (and successful) entrepreneurial experiences taught him the impact of sales, marketing and finance, Smith sees nothing being more important than product. Here he discusses why it’s important to consider what the first demonstratable use case of the product will be, and to work creatively to communicate this to customers.

Are You Building Products Customers Want?

“What customers want isn’t necessarily what you or your engineering team wants to build,” says Jessica Mah, co-founder of inDinero. Here Mah describes the debates that went on inside her company when aligning the desires of the engineering team with new requests for product features. Eventually a strict weekly schedule was implemented at inDinero to provide more insightful customer feedback, says Mah, which provided new insights that would shape the future of the product roadmap.

Show Investors a Working Product

To inspire a vision about the possibilities of a product, entrepreneurs should show investors a working version of their product, says serial entrepreneur Jack Dorsey. In the video below, the co-founder of Square and Twitter explains how this approach also makes the telling of the product’s story easier. Dorsey also shares the amusing (and money-making) technique he used when presenting Square to investors.

Check out more entrepreneurial insights on Stanford eCorner.