Understanding Your Product

What you are doing is not always what you think you are doing. What failed deaf aid was used to establish the first and only true corporate monopoly that the United States has known? That would be AT&T, initially founded on February 28, 1885. Alexander Graham Bell's father taught deaf people sign language. His son, Alexander, was trying to devise a machine to enable partially deaf people to hear when he inadvertently developed the telephone.

The Teflon on the upper side of a frying pan was actually discovered while trying to make a replacement for Freon 114 used as the cooling agent in Frigidaire refrigerators back in 1938. Coca-Cola was concocted by its inventor, John Pemberton, as a "brain and nerve tonic" in 1886.

These examples demonstrate that what you start out to produce, what you think you have produced, what the public want, what the public actually think you have produced, and what they are prepared to pay for are not always the same thing.

During the market research phase listen to what people are saying they really want. During the pre-release, beta testing period ask people openly if they can think of any other users for your product. Have brainstorming sessions with your development marketing team and see what you come up with.

Before you can market your product you have to understand all its options. Options give you choices. You need to know these at the outset so you can prioritize them. There's no point in spending your entire marketing budget on election prediction software whose peak demand is once every four years only to find out that it's also an invaluable everyday statistical marketing tool for market research, advertising agencies, and brand corporations. Your product could be significantly more valuable than you believe it to be. Consumers often see a product differently from its creators. They will have worked out how they can use it and are prepared to pay for it. When you know this, you begin to understand your product.

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