Three tips to help you developing good products
- December 2, 2016
When the strategy of ‘internet plus’ was published, it was a very big topic in China. The booming internet sector is supposed to have a deep impact on the Chinese future economy. The main goal of the ‘internet plus’ strategy is the connection of the internet industry with traditional sectors of the economy, in particular the manufacturing sector. But what does that mean for the development of products?
A successful product must satisfy the users’ demands. When we look back, we can see that a lot of industries have already strategically transformed to internet industries. Mingzhu Dong (CEO of Gree Electric Appliances Inc., one of the world’s largest specialized air conditioner enterprises), for example, highly promoted the launch of a new Gree Electric’s mobile phone. When the phone was released, however, it was comparable to nothing more than a rechargeable air-conditioner remote control. Why? Because Gree Electric Appliances generated the product only with the purpose of following the internet trend but forgot to consider the user’s perspective.
Therefore, it is important that the essential demands and the psychological expectation of the users should be elaborated thoroughly already at the beginning of the product planning. After that, you can start planning the macro system.
Money is not everything, but without money, all is nothing
The best example is China’s most famous online money market fund ‘Yu’ebao’, promoted by Alipay. Jack Ma (co-founder of the Alibaba Group) said that the idea of the online money market fund was simple but many people don’t know how to take advantage of it. The only thing you need to know is: As long as the money is at the money market fund, it will become more. Thus, even his money goes to Yu’ebao. We often regard the transfer cost as very high – but if it is related to money, it pays.
You can make money in two ways: saving it or earning it. Every industry has to find a good balance between these two ways. Few industries are still unable to manage it. Uber, for example, constantly faces troubles all over the world. But still, the company raises its assessment of value thanks to their concept of offering a wide range of applications and, therewith, meeting the user’s demands.
Grasp the user by his hand and lead him out of the maze
My house needs to be repaired but I have no idea how to find a competent craftsman. My dog needs to be looked after but I have no idea how to find a reliable dog-sitter. I want to travel but I have no idea how to arrange the best travel route…
Who hasn’t yet faced this kind of troubles? Indeed, there are many helpful applications you can use in these situations. Not all of them, however, can hit the mark because they often focus on forms and functions too much.
There are many discussions about the development of a good product. Actually, the purpose of a product should already be determined in its early planning phase. We should always ask ourselves: Who is the user? Which issue is supposed to be solved? And which aspect of the product is the most attractive one?
However, the ultimate goal of a good product is not only to solve the physical issue but, beyond that, to make the user excited about getting the issue solved and happy about his achievements. With regard to the increase of competitive internet products, it is crucial to combine technical as well as emotional qualities within one product.
Break the users’ fragile heart and give them a strong one
A few days ago, I bought a T-shirt which has a picture of a cat on it. It sounds ridiculous but I did that just because the cat’s name touched me. The Internet enables everyone to be unconventional, spontaneous and to act in the heat of the moment. ‘Smartisan’, a company that creates mobile devices and is one of the most emotional brands in the world, attracts a great many of admirers due to its craftsmanship. And the mad pursuit of ‘Mi’-fans (Mi is the market-leader for enterprise mobile information software solutions) derives from the desire of belonging to those players who stick out of the mass.
A good product brings not only the real value but also the spiritual resonance and emotional dependence to its users. No matter if those are honor, preferences, oddities or memories that can be recalled, all of them can play the same role. Therefore, besides meeting the essential demands of the product, its design should always leave a lasting impression on the users’ hearts.