Before we start on Product Thinking, it will be good to understand what a Product is.
Product is something that is the result of a process.
Now, in the software world, how does this apply? Let us see:
Product is something that is result of a software development process.
This is better. However, is Design (Experience Design, etc) a software process? Not really. However, it is a process in itself. So, an updated definition then:
Product is something that is result of a interface design & software development process.
Better. However, I am of the opinion that a product without a business model is neither sustainable nor a solution.
So, let us add that to the mix.
Product is something that is result of a interface design & software development process and has a business model.
OK, there! Now we proceed to Product Thinking.
Here is it in one diagram:
Product Thinking is not the process of product creation itself. It is thinking of the product along with the whole ecosystem. The ecosystem is often a combination of:
- Target Audience
- Objective / Vision / Goal
- User Experience
- User Environment
- Process of Making
Based on Product Management Canvas, we can define Product Thinking as:
Building on the value your customers will need to achieve business goals measured using related success and failure metrics with providing well designed experience using a well-defined go-to-market strategy and support.
Note: Need v/s Will Need
You will notice, I said ‘will need’ rather than ‘need’. A lot of innovations anticipate a need to create a new one. So, to acknowledge that, a ‘will’ has been added.
Note: Platforms v/s Channels
Platforms (backend, APIs, multi-tenancy, etc) benefit from System Centric design (eg: System Thinking) while Channels (apps, websites, devices, kiosks, etc) which humans interact with benefit from User Centric design (eg: Design Thinking).