Sinek says “Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. When I say WHY, I don’t mean making money – that’s a result. By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? Why does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?”
You may ask what this has to do with building a product on the Power Platform. I feel that if you can get clear on why you are in business, and why you serve your customers, you will get clear on the benefits you bring to market with the products you create.
I have seen many ISVs get too focused on features, forgetting that customers are more interested in the benefits of your software. If you get clear on your ‘why’ you can tell the story of your product in a way that resonates with the customer.
I recommend you read this book and then evaluate your ISV and products through this lens.
Five Whys Method
Here is an example.
Once you have watched this video, think about it in context of the problem that your software idea solves, is it a core problem or a superficial one? As you become clear on the core problems your software solves, you can design your application to address these problems, therefore creating high value and impact.
Here is another example 🙂
I like this quote about the importance of understanding the problem before you start building the software.
“First, solve the problem. Then write the code.” – John Johnson
Other Whys to consider
Using the above five whys method, answer these questions about your software idea.
- Why will people buy your product?
- Why will they purchase from you?
- Why is this the right time?
- Why Now?
- Why do you want to create a product?
- Why is this idea the right idea?
- Why You?
- Why Not?
Once you are clear on your why, it is time to consider a plan to move forward. Pull together a loose plan and timeline. There will be opportunity to build this out in more detail later but at this point you need to get some trusted advisors involved. Who will you engage in stress testing your idea?
This is extremely important, as without stress testing you run the risk of looking at your idea only in the context of what you know. It’s time to get people around you that you trust, people who will look at your idea from a different context to yours. Not everyone you present your idea to will “get it”, and that’s okay.
However, if everyone you share the idea with doesn’t get it, proceed with caution. Can you find people with experience with similar products or ideas? Who is going to create the software architecture? Who is going to develop the software? What technology will be involved?
Be careful to build on the cutting edge but not the bleeding edge.
For example, right now if you were to make an application on the Power Platform there are two key things you need to consider, do you build using the Classic UI or the Unified Interface? (By the way NEVER make anything on the Classic UI as it is going away). I see many ISVs with their demos built using the Classic UI and I shake my head.
As part of this high-level planning you need to work out the following: