Happy to share with you wisdom gained from ProductCampRTP featuring keynote speaker: Marshall Brain. Mr. Brain is a serial entrepreneur, Founder of HowStuffWorks.com, Director of the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program at NCSU, and author of more than a dozen books. He talked about a framework for turning ideas into successful products. Here are 8 rules on successful product attributes to pass insights your way. Enjoy!
Rule #1: Find something that resonates! You really want that "thing" if you show someone they really like it and want to share it with others. He used "Viagra" as an example. It really resonated with people. Viagra got your attention and people talked about it. Many people need it, use it, like it, and pass on the word! Viagra resonated so it took off!
*Alternative to Rule #1: You want advertisement to product that causes a, "Wow, I need that!" An equation perspective: When person A sees that person B has it, person A thinks I need that too!
Rule #2: Offer a killer value proposition! Find a big fat pain point, offer a solution that addresses it, and make it reasonable to acquire for what seems like little investment for a lot of gain. If you can solve a problem and/or make the world a better place through your product and value gained is far greater then the cost to acquire you have a winner!
Rule #3: Need product people are willing to pay for! People are used to paying for a $5 coffee, but not used to paying anything for an APP. Make sure your product is something people have an expectation to pay for and are willing to open their wallet.
*Alternative to Rule 3: If you can't easily get people to perceive paying at first, offer a creative way for people to pay. For example, DropBox gives free accounts, but if you use DropBox a lot and need more storage they ask you to pay. Subscription fees and re-occuring revenue is holy grail!
Rule #4: Business needs to be able to scale up! Need large audience to go big and have business model with resources that can peak up fast too. Think big, start small, and then scale from small to big! Example, Walmart started with one five & dime store!
Rule #5: Need to reach audience easily! For example, going after college kids would be a reasonable accessible market. You know the campus with access to thousands of students, marketing boards you can impact, sidewalks you can market on, street fairs to attend, and mailing lists to send materials so clear defined path to reach audience.
Rule #6: Keep in mind the magical three: A) Growth potential (People like and share it) B) Sticky (People come back to use product again and again) C) Monetize (You can make money on product/service efficiently)
Rule #7: You can copy an existing successful product idea! If an idea works and already has proven market then consider doing it yourself with unique twist or better! There was Viagra and then came Ciallis! Or take something that is hard and make it easy like Uber did for Taxi.
Rule #8" Price matters! You need right price that makes it easy for people to say "Yes" to buy! Test product and pricing. Do surveys. Offer a website with the product to see if it resonates!
Overall in the USA $18 trillion of dollars of commerce flow like a river over our head every year. If you can put up a product into this stream of commerce and people like it and tell others you can pull that money stream your way. The only way to know is to jump in and play ball! Follow these 8 rules and it will ensure your idea has the ingredients for success. Kudos to Marshall Brain for sharing these great insights and Productcamp RTP for hosting great educational event! Wishing you the best!
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Keith Washo, Sales and Marketing Exec & Published Author, From Silicon Valley To Research Triangle Park
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