A better approach to building new products or setting up your consultancy business

How do you focus on the right thing?

There’s a simple answer and there’s a complex answer.

So the simple answer is it’s not hard to detect trends. You know, there is lots of stuff out there about what is trending up and what is trending down. So quite clearly, we are in a space right now where data is being produced at an exponential rate and extracting knowledge from data is incredibly hard and that is going to continue to be hard.

It’s continued to require huge skills either to do the extraction of the knowledge yourself or to programme the machines that extract the knowledge. So it doesn’t take rocket science to work at that is a growth area. I don’t know what being, a long-distance truck driver probably doesn’t have a 40-year future because there are quite likely to get automated at some point in time, certainly within the next 40 years.

Back winning trends and finding your niche

Trends are not hard to spot and we can see clearly some areas are growing, so back the winners.

I think the more complex answer is that finding a niche for yourself as a consultant, let’s say, or to find a niche for the product is unbelievably hard.

I went through a very typical process for me, where having advised lots of people about how to do it and how to create a product and how to run a startup and how to build strategy and how to do content and how to extend your reach and social media.

Having consulted in all of that for ages, I started to do it myself for my own product and all the mechanics of the things I talk about were relatively straight forward because I’ve been doing them and talking about it for a long time. Finding that niche has been incredibly hard and I’ve got it wrong a couple of times.

Get your MVP to market

I’ve got it right now, fortunately, and therefore the business is growing, but that is hard. And the best way I think is to try and lot and get out there minimum viable product tested in the market and learn, you know, do not spend a lot of time crafting and creating either your own self as a consultant or your product. If you’re building a product, get them tested.

If you imagine that we take a product and we try and distil it and distil it down. So the final product, especially, well, let’s just assume it’s a digital product.

I’m selling a software service, let’s say. So the first part, the final part of that process is that I need to build software. I need to build the support that goes with it. After a customer has bought the software, I need to do the marketing, etc.

So do I start by building the product? No, certainly you don’t.

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Don’t build, as key questions first

You start by asking some questions about what is pain that you think your product is going to solve and you ask your customers.

I have heard that there are a lot of people struggling with this issue, or are you struggling with this issue?
No, I’m not. No that’s strange or yes, I am good. You are. I have confirmation. That’s a struggle.

Can you just confirm that you would be willing to pay 150 pounds a month?
If I had a product that solved, nevermind what that product is?
Assume I have a product that makes that pain go away.
Would you reach into your pocket and take out your credit card for 150 pounds a month?
Now I haven’t even written a line of code yet, but I have validated the need.
And I perhaps have another day to the day price point for the solution.

What next?

Then the question becomes, can I develop a piece of software that I can sell for 150 pounds a month in order to solve that pain. At least, you know, you’re solving a real problem.

And at least, you know, that however many people you talk to are willing to put the hands in the pockets and pay for it. So many people build the product, thinking this is amazing.

This is going to sell and find firstly, that it’s not a problem. It was not a struggle or that the price point that is needed to justify all the investment.

The real tragedy of developing a new product when you get it so totally wrong is that you’re developing the wrong product because it’s not a burning problem amongst your target audience.