This is the first part of the principle series. The author wants to systematically sort out some experience in TO B product management, design, development and operation. I hope to share with you and learn.
Editor’s note: This article is from WeChat public account “SaaS product theory”, author Li Donglin , authorized to reprint.
MVP is the abbreviation of Minimum Viable Product, which means the smallest feasible product. In the mobile Internet era in recent years, this concept is very popular when TO C product development and market introduction. Talk about two more famous examples:
An example is Zappos, founder Nick, in order to confirm that people have the idea of buying shoes online, first go to the local counter to take pictures of shoes on the Internet, if someone orders, he ran to the store Buy it. In this way, he did not have the pressure of warehousing at first, nor did he need to invest in building a real e-commerce platform. In 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion.
Another example is Dropbox. At the beginning, the founder didn’t know if Dropbox was needed by everyone, so I took a video first. The video mainly demonstrates the pain points and usage scenarios that Dropbox can solve, and then put the video. On the top of Youtube, many netizens came to the Dropbox website via video to express their strong willingness to use. It is also the video of more than 2 minutes that brought tens of millions of users to Dropbox.
Everyone saw these two examples. Did you find a problem? C-side products, especially some innovative business models, because there are a lot of unknowns, so the most important purpose of the early MVP is to verify whether the demand exists, business model. Is it established? Based on the requirements of this verification to achieve the simplest MVP, and then slowly iterative development evolution.
But the products of TO B and the scene of TO C are very different. The business of TO B is much more complicated. The demand for To C is also determined a lot, except for a few completely innovative To B products, The MVP of most TO B products is not to verify the existence of the demand, but to allow the product to be available in the shortest time with the least cost, so that the product development can make the user demandDriven by the line, avoiding the shackles of closed doors and the risk of customers coming out after the product comes out.
So how should the TO B product define the MVP? I recommend following the steps below to define the MVP of the B-end product.
1. Determine product targeting
Targeting mainly needs to determine three questions, who is the customer, who the user is, and what problem to solve.
Who is the customer?
The question of who the customer is. In general, there are two dimensions to consider, one is the dimension of the industry, and the other is the dimension of scale.
Industry dimension, if it is to support the general industry, or just a specific industry, the product features required and the design adopted by the product are very different, if it is a general industry, Product configurability is far greater than just targeting a specific industry, but industry-specific products can be designed with many personal features based on industry characteristics.
Dimensions of scale is also a very important dimension, such as multinational companies, large local companies, medium-sized companies, small companies, and products of different sizes and geographies. There is a big difference. Generally speaking, the business complexity of large companies is very high. If the products of large companies are used by small companies, the ease of use of products is very poor, and the training implementation cycle is too long. These are difficult for SMEs to accept.
So one of the principles of the author, the same business, solutions for companies of different sizes, in the long run, it is to be divided into product lines, if it is not divided into product lines, it is difficult to compete Targeted competitors. What customers support, in fact, is not to figure out the target customer positioning.
Who is the user?
After determining who the customer is, we need to know more about who the user is.
For example, the user of the personnel system is HR, the users of CRM are mainly market and sales personnel, and ERP is mainly the purchasing staff, sales personnel, and library management personnel. If we can abstract the user portrait of the target user, including the main gender, Education level, preferences, use of system scenarios, etc., will be very helpful for product function definition and design.
For example, the main user of the personnel system is a woman, why is there no human resource management system now?Is the page style a preference for women? If there is, it must be bright. In my previous article, “How can the To B SaaS software work? Extremely easy to use like To C?” Also mentioned how to design an extremely easy-to-use B-end product based on the user, you can refer to it.
CRM sales staff is generally in a mobile environment, so the friendliness of related functions on the mobile side is very important. If the user is sitting in front of the PC, the mobile is not that important.
What to fix
For the problem to be solved, it must be simple and straightforward. Let’s look at some examples with relatively good positioning:
Airport sweeping robot
Recruitment Management for Medium-sized Enterprises
Zhongda Enterprise Recruitment Website Construction Tools
Customer Management System for the Retail Industry
One principle is to show that the copy is a noun that everyone can understand. There can be no nouns to explain. For example, if you say that I want to be a product of Didi, people can now Understand, but if you say that Didi beater is your position before the drip taxi, no one can understand it.
Now many companies like to add new retail, manual when they explain their positioning. The words “intelligence, ecology, and entrance” are often more and more confusing, and the words that are so vague and broad in their own meaning make their positioning more blurred.
In general, the company’s positioning needs to be extremely simple, not long-term, preferably within 15 words. If it is too long, please simplify it.
2. Identify seed customers
Before the product is officially developed, it is best to find some seed users that match their own positioning based on the team’s resources and product positioning instructions (sometimes to convince the seed users after the product prototype is completed in the later stage). If seed users are hard to find, or difficult to persuade, there are many times to reflect on product positioning and through more user research to find a more accurate company customer base and product positioning.
The recent way to see a viable seed user is to help them do the job, The author saw a lot of startup companies that are engaged in catering, training, real estate agency and entrepreneurship, and started in the early stage through online sales. Start-ups quickly generate cash flow through online generation operations, live, and find the real pain points and operation methods of customers. They can then use product solutions to automate them. This path is in line with the theory of lean entrepreneurship.
3. Determine product route
After identifying the seed user, you can communicate with the customer to determine the route of the product. For example, if the company’s target is to mark Workday, or Salesforce, then develop most of the functions of Workday or Salesforce in one go and then go online. Stupid behavior, this time will be to disassemble the target to determine the evolution path of the product.
About the evolution path of MVP, there is a very famous picture on the Internet, as follows:
The meaning is that if you want to build a car, MVP’s evolution path should first build a scooter, then bicycles, motorcycles, and then cars. The author thinks that this TO C product can be designed in such a way. If you design the product path in the TO B product, the author thinks it is the best of the world. why? Because the B-end product business and logic are extremely complicated, the most important thing is the construction of the architecture. If we follow this evolution path, each round of products basically has to overthrow the previous round of products and design, which is in the B-end products. It is unacceptable and unacceptable from the perspective of customer experience.
If you still take the car as an example, the correct way may be to have a frame of a car that can move, but many functions can be missing, and then slowly add, for example, a wiper, multiple seats, steering Lights, trunks, navigation and other functions, but you need to ensure that you can not overturn the original design when adding follow-up functions.
For products that are particularly complex and have a long development cycle, they can be used in batches by cleverly designing product routes, so as to avoid the embarrassing situation and risks of closed doors, and fast-on-line products can also give customers confidence. And these are the problems of life and death for startups.
In the next article, let’s discuss the next steps in the definition of the B-end product, about the definition of the business process, the function point combingAnd the principle of function point priority definition.
Author: Li Donglin (micro-channel public number: SaaS product say; Micro Signal: jianguzhuxin), former head of ADP products in Greater China, 14-year To B R & D and product design, team management experience, leading through a variety of large-scale business management Software design, research and development, online, also have 2 years of mobile Internet TO C entrepreneurial experience, welcome everyone to add me WeChat exchange.
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