4 Tips for Product Development

The title is straight forward, and I am assuming that most of you already knew that product development, just like taking on any project/business is not easy. We at Feedweb Research have been working on improving our plugin day in and day out since the company opened less than a year ago. Have we succeeded in our product development?

There are times in which we feel we have succeeded, and there are times in which we feel are backs are against the wall. Time will only tell if we have done what is needed (expect to see a sleek new look to our widget very soon), but until then, these are few tips that have gotten us this far.

Security: Nothing is more important. How does it feel to wake up in the morning and see that in the middle of the night you had a black-out, or got hacked? In one word: Horrible. When designing the product and releasing updates there needs to be one thing always sitting at the front of your brain, and that is if there are any security issues. Honestly, all of us could probably go on for hours explaining to friends and colleagues how crucial it is to have a product that is as close to 100% secure as possible.

Adding 1000 features won’t help after the first security breach. Everything in life has a replacement, especially in this start-up age.

Listen: Who uses the product? Sally uses it, and if Sally has something to say you better clean your ears first. John, he is just some guy on Twitter with 100 followers tweeting that the field of “rainbows” is missing unicorns. Guess what? Listen to John.

Let me be clear, there is a difference between listening and doing. The point at hand is to listen. Listen to what is being said about your brand and field/niche. Listen to criticism in a professional manner. By listening to those around you, not only can you develop a terrific skill (listening), but also work with the team and those that offered a piece of their mind to decide if you’ll act on what has been said. In addition, by hearing one thing, you can take it in another direction. Example: If someone told Facebook that the ads were too small, now Facebook listens and looks to either make them bigger or take that advice in another direction: video ads.

Finish what you start: If you start an update or creating a feature finish it, unless it is detrimental to the company/product itself. In general, the point at hand is that it is very unproductive to jump from one responsibility to another without finishing one before.

Momentum is something that is built up over time, and even if it is not felt, when developing there is a form of momentum in the air. Sometimes it’ll be stronger than other times, but there is always momentum (you just have to be positive (easier said than done)).

Schedule: This is directly connected to the previous tip (finish what you start). Having a schedule makes it easier to accomplish tasks, and hopefully also in a timely manner. Does having a schedule mean that it is a holy book that you can’t be flexible with? No it is not the same thing. The schedule should be respected, and not treated like paper that can be changed every second. A steady balance of commitment and flexibility can help anyone using a schedule manage it efficiently in order to get the most out of it. Like listening, being flexible is a skill that anyone should want to acquire.

The Team: If you are working alone, then obviously this is a bit less relevant, but still can be used if you collaborate with others.

Friendship is great, but not the cornerstone to building a product development team. The team is like any connection a relationship, and every successful relationship has a “click” that drives success/happiness. When building the team consider the following tips:

  • Opposites attract, but taking 2 extreme opposites can lead to disaster.
  • When does each member do his/her best work? Will the team work together at the same time?
  • Does the team have a pessimist, optimist, monotone character, and a creative guru? Balance is an important key (which takes us back to the first point “opposites”) to creating a team that will get the job done.

There is much more. Obviously when you think of what is important to product development, other than what’s listed and costs, you can probably add that…


17 Responses

  1. Disha Sharma says:

    Hi Amiti, This is really nice to experience to visit on your official wonderful Blog. I hope I keep getting wonderful post on your Blog.

  2. Hi Amiti,

    Thanks for sharing commendable tips over product development.

  3. Gladys says:

    Hello Mr. Amiti

    Great informative article.
    You know even if a person is not developing a product, all the things you listed are so important.

    I love “finish what you start”. It creates credibility.
    Thank you again
    Gladys recently posted…Your Personal Development PortfolioMy Profile

  4. Hello Amiti,

    Nice article you did on product development and I must say that I like the point: finish what you start. Sometimes people embark on a project and along the way they abandon the project: this doesn’t speak good of that person’s personality.

    Somebody once told me that the best way to remain a figure is to always finish what you start.

    Thanks for this points, Philip
    Okechukwu Philip recently posted…A Website Or a Blog| Which Do You Need For Your Business?My Profile

    • Amiti says:

      Hello Okechukwu,

      That somebody was a wise person. Anyone can start something, but those that see it through to the finish are champions. Thanks for your kind words.

  5. Hi Amiti,

    It doesn’t only take time and work to develop a product, but also organization and scheduling steps properly.

    When you’re busy with other things that can be tough.

    Right now I’m still editing my next writing tutorial eBook and it seems to take me forever. Just a simple eBook requires time management and goal setting.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…What’s Preventing You To Have A Successful Career?My Profile

    • Amiti says:

      First of all, best of luck with the eBook. I think that using any of the tips will help you reach your goal, faster and more effectively.
      Second of all, there is no doubt that organization is must-in everything in life.

  6. Susah Makan says:

    Nice article Amiti,

    Security is very important. When got hacked that was horrible and terrible.

    Now, i just trying to build the team because i’m just realize that if i want develope my products, i can’t work alone

    thanks for your tips
    Susah Makan recently posted…Tips Kulit Putih Alami dengan Produk TiensMy Profile

    • Amiti says:

      Hi Susah,

      Security is one of the most important things, if not the most important. Today, with all the competition in every field, if you leave a whole or show a weakness your competition will just push you out of the way.

      Good luck building your team, and I hope these tips help you.

  7. Adrienne says:

    Hey Amiti,

    Once you have a product created like your plugin I can only imagine the work that continues to go into making it the best it can be and the many improvements that come along with normal changes.

    Security is probably the main concern for a plugin although making sure people are only saying good things is the next step as well. It’s all important once you have that product released and it seems like the work is never done.

    Good luck and I have no doubt you’ll continue to improve it as time goes on.

    Adrienne recently posted…How To Make Your Blog UnforgettableMy Profile

    • Amiti says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      The work is, as you said, around the clock. This coming week we will actually be releasing a great new feature and design so we are all excited. Once that is out of the way, the next step is, again as you said, creating positive awareness.

      Thanks, and hopefully we learn something new every step of the way.

  8. Hi Amiti,

    Indeed all these tips are things we need to do when developing a product. I had hired a coach to develop mine. It was finishing what I start. We went over a time schedule and although it was difficult to keep up, I did finish what I started.

    Then the sales funnel: Oh boy does that take time. It’s sort of working backwards.

    But when all was planned and created, I did get held up with JVZoo. The problem was Get Response that they use. I heard through the grape vine that Get Response merged and nothing worked.

    I had my membership site built with another coach and he couldn’t figure it out either. It was all because of those darn changes.

    So thee I was, raring to go, but all the tech stuff held me back. Now, I just opted out of Get Response and put it up on private hosting.

    There are many things we learn on this journey, but at the end of he day, it is all worth it!

    donna merrill recently posted…Not All Comments Are EqualMy Profile

    • Amiti says:

      I am glad to hear that you were able to come away with lessons from the process. Success is attained only by learning from what we did not do correctly. I hear you loud and clear. We too have had issues with internal changes made by our hosting company over the last 2 months. At the end the product development process never really ends, as it is an integral part of the company’s continued work and sales.

  9. Personally I think that a security point for plugin development is very important and this is any way the first thing on your list. Many developers are just paying so much attention to reach a functionality, but keep forgetting about security. This issue can lead to such serious problems. Thank you for the great article, really like it.
    Oksana Frewer recently posted…Mind Games Behind Usability and Writing for Web: Zeigarnik effectMy Profile

    • Amiti says:

      Hi Oksana,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am with you 100% of the way in regards to security measures taken when producing a product, although this is true for anything that can be breached and not just plugins.

      Glad you enjoyed!

  10. Hi Amiti,
    Very ultimate tips on product develpoment. Really, I got all the information that I was seeking for. Eagerly waiting for your next post :)