How to create cool products: two key principles from HubSpot

Original author: Maggie Georgieva
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Alconost is not only a service company. In addition to localizing software and games and creating videos, we also develop several of our own products. This is a new direction for us, therefore we constantly study, read interesting articles.

Today we want to share the translation of one of these articles on customer focus in the development process. The development team at HubSpot has two main principles for creating amazing products. These principles are borrowed from David Cancela (David Cancel), and in my experience it is 100% right:

  1. focus on the client;
  2. Show tangible progress.

Being embodied in different ways at different stages of the product life cycle, these principles remain guiding at all stages: from research at the earliest stage to creating a product with minimal functionality and then to its full readiness.

Let us ponder the application of these principles and their evolution as a product enters the market and stabilizes.

Experimental sample

  1. Customer focus: focus on the end user who will be targeted when entering the market. Find out where he spends his free time, what problems he has. Observe it in its natural environment.
  2. Tangible progress: conduct at least X interviews and / or identify Y main problems that the product has to solve.

Minimum viable product

  1. Customer focus: try to introduce a minimally working product to the first user as soon as possible. To ensure that a person wants to pay for a product, or is very upset by being left without it, is the most difficult part of the matter. But even harder is getting the first user. Next is another very difficult step: grow from one user to ten. Give users your contacts, monitor how they use the product, watch their every movement when used. Start custom testing.
  2. Tangible progress: all attention is on the growth in the number of active users. From zero to one, from one to ten.

Growth phase

  1. Customer focus: the product development team should provide direct support to their customers. In appropriate cases, the team should interact with the sales department to repeat the proven experience - not according to the “for a successful transaction to do this” scheme, but based on an understanding of real problems, blocking factors, competitive environment, product differentiation possibilities, shortcomings of existing solutions, etc. .P. To do this, it is useful to have sales specialists who do not deal with "functional nonsense", but do a lot of measurable work to determine the needs of the client. If the developer has the opportunity to hear these conversations, the magic begins :).
  2. Tangible progress: collect data, draw up charts and bring information to the team about the number of active users, activation dynamics, repeated payments, user outflow, user influx according to recommendations, the ratio of the number of requests to the number of customers - everything that is important as a criterion for the product to match the market. Every month, arrange for customers to demonstrate new features: not by layout, not by reports of the quality assurance department, but live.

Finished product

  1. Customer focus: record the reasons for the most frequent requests to the support service, report them and keep track of how every month there are fewer of them. Actively resort to user testing to optimize the main processes and use cases of the product.
  2. Tangible progress: measure, draw up charts and tell the company the following data: the ratio of the number of requests to the number of customers, the main problematic issues (and their monthly dynamics), uptime or availability, productivity or speed. Continue corporate demos and incorporate performance improvements in addition to the core product features.

Hope this will be helpful to someone. For me and my colleagues, the application and in-depth understanding of these principles was a real breakthrough.

About the translator

Translation of the article was done in Alconost.

Alconost localizes applications, games and sites in 60 languages. Native-language translators, linguistic testing, cloud platform with API, continuous localization, project managers 24/7, any format of string resources.

We also make advertising and training videos - for sites that sell, image, advertising, training, teasers, expliner, trailers for Google Play and the App Store.

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