With the barrier to entry so low, now is an amazing time to be a technologist. But, with the gates to the tech world opened up, how do you make a great product that stands out from the herd? At the Propelify Innovation Festival, Jack Hanlon, VP of Analytics & Insight at Jet.com, offered three key opportunities innovators can seize on to avoid sloppy product execution.
Eat Your Own Dog Food
The mandate to use your own product is a given. But are you actually following through on this old Microsoft maxim? Hanlon recommends not just using your own product, but using your own product every week, including the aspects that don’t appeal to you directly. And have your friends use your product too. “Have them deliver honest feedback about what works and what doesn’t.”
Do It Manually
Innovators do it manually. Have you created a process that deserves to be automated? Developments in A.I. and machine learning can streamline tasks for entrepreneurs, but Hanlon warns against scaling before solving. Instead of automatically automating, go at it by hand to see if you’re getting the results you want. A few places to start?
- Your welcome email: Have several people in your company draft the welcome email for after a customer makes their first purchase. Which version was actually read? Or received a consumer response? First learn what works, then automate.
- Be the chatbot: Take on the experience of interacting with users as the chatbot, to see what the customer service of your site actually needs to look like. Does your chatbot delight customers? If not, it’s time to tweak.
- Curate merchandise solutions: Suggest additional merch to purchase, based on your own logic and tastes. If someone bought a tv, what’s the next logical item to add? Try your own logic, instead of a program’s, to help your customers.
And Hanlon’s number one rule for creating an exceptional product or service?
“Value isn’t what you do. Value is what people receive.”
Users don’t care about how hard it was to make something work. Users care if a product or service works, and works well. “All too many times we are too excited about a solution and looking for a problem to deploy it on,” Hanlon said. Focus on the consumer’s problems, not your excitement about building a new product, and users will be delighted with the end result.
Watch highlights of Jack's talk at the 2017 Propelify Innovation Festival
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