How to

How to: build your product vision

skills, Digital Business Academy, Aspiring, Early Stage

Jack PreeceJack Preece, July 20, 2018

Before we start, what’s a product vision?

A product vision is a strong, clear view for what your new product is trying to achieve.

It is the north star for everyone involved in making the product a success, it guides you and your team in the same direction and is the overarching goal you are aiming for. It is the reason for creating the product. This is not your mission statement.

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A strong product can be the ticket to success for a new business. So how can you start creating yours?

1) Start with ‘Why’?

Few companies can articulate why they do what they do, it’s important to get this right from the beginning. Simon Sinek’s inspiring TED Talk on ‘starting with why’ is a must watch, it has 39 million views and you have probably seen it before, but it’s always worth a recap.

A competitor can lower prices, match your features, give their product away for free or offer rewards for users joining, but what they cannot take from you is your ‘why’ – your why is what will bring you customer loyalty.

2) Create a problem statement

A problem statement is a simple paragraph that sets the parameter of the goal of your product. It should clearly state:

  • What the problem is you are trying to solve.
  • What current solutions exist.
  • Why those solutions are falling short.

The following is a common template used for creating problem statements:

  • [Our product] is designed to [achieve these goals].
  • Current solutions are not meeting [these goals].
  • How might we improve [our service or product] in some measurable way?

3) Sketch out the process

Use a vision board to get ideas onto paper. It is likely to change as you find out more about your customers’ wants and needs, but it is useful to sketch it out at the beginning of the process so you don’t get lost in the detail. You can download the template here.

Good examples:

💡Bulb

“We want to make the whole industry better. And there are three ways we’re trying to do that – we’re making energy simpler, cheaper and greener.”

🚀 SpaceX

“SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.”

⛰ Patagonia

“Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”

So that’s it. Creating a product vision is as simple as 1, 2, 3 (if you follow the steps above). But this is just the first step in learning how to manage a digital product. Continue learning, earn certificates and rewards, and become a pro Product Manager with the Digital Business Academy.