Strategy and execution are critical aspects to overall success. Focusing more on strategy and less on execution is a frequent mistake. People find comfort in strategy and often underestimate the complexity of a flawless execution.

User-First Mentality

Stakeholders, business leaders, decision makers, and team members need to think and act with a customer-centric framework – they need to focused on the user. Users want the product. They are willing to pay for the service to improve their lives. Focusing on the users’ needs is the optimal approach to increasing sales, attracting new business, and improving overall customer satisfaction.

A great way to ensure the product is user focused is to weave the mindset into the company culture. Customer interviews should be a frequent and common occurrence. Hypotheses need to be made and validated with wireframes, mockups, and beta feedback loops. Adopting the user-first approach ensures the right features are being released at the right time.

Prioritize Value

There is more to solving pain points for end-users. Features and requirements compete for resources. There is no standard formula; however, value can and should be estimated in terms of level-of-effort to perceived value. An example of an item to not prioritize is a low-impact feature that delays the launch by several days, weeks, or months.

Solutions that consistently deliver value are successful long-term. The added value keeps users using the product, getting value, and providing feedback. You can learn a lot from power users that act as pseudo representatives for user group types. These users spend an exponentially longer amount of time with the platform and are motivated to explain improvement opportunities. The successful business leader and entrepreneur understands the value of prioritizing feedback from power users.

Speed to Market

Calculated risks are needed for balancing ideation and execution.  Consumer preferences and technology are constantly changing. Creating products and features to manage the intersection of these two variables is a moving target. Some features end up stranded in ideation with too many ideas, theories, and what-if scenarios. The time to market keeps increasing. More and more features are added. Low-value items find their way into the development queue. The release date is getting pushed back more and more. In worse-case scenarios, competitors enter the market with a similar product offering first.

Successful products enter the market fast and product market fit is achieved faster. New, more valuable enhancements, are discovered and fast-tracked to development. Features that were thought to be important, even critical at one point are regularly removed from product backlogs. Entering the market sooner is another successful strategy to managing a successful product.

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