Archive for March, 2011

The Four Pillars of Successful Products

Product creation can be a difficult and confusing process for many entrepreneurs, however, by realizing what makes products successful, we can better ensure our own success. In this post, I’m going to share the four pillars that almost all successful products have in common.

1. Balance

Good product execution depends on balance. Getting this right can mean being number one in your niche; getting it wrong can mean failure. Balance involves making all of the aspects of your product equally good.

There’s a reason why the Honda Civic has been one of the top-selling vehicles here for the past 15 years or so. It’s because it’s so perfectly balanced in so many areas – from driving dynamics, to fuel economy, to price.

Employing Honda’s formula to success is simple: balance your efforts equally across the board. Don’t spend all of your time and money developing an incredible product without putting equal effort into writing a
good sales copy and generating traffic. Doing so ensures that almost nobody will and your product, and the few people that do will be turned-off by a mediocre sales page.

At the same time, don’t spend all your time writing a great sales copy or generating server-crushing traffic without putting the same effort into developing a killer product. Neglecting your product will result in a high rate of refunds, which is almost worse than making no sales at all.

2. Functionality

Quick and shallow success can be built on flash and style, alone. However, if you’re looking to build lasting success, your product needs to be functional, first and foremost.

One of the many factors that set the original iPod apart from its competitors was its uncanny level of usability. It’s minimalistic design made it easy to know which buttons to press, right out of the box, and its straightforward
menus put apple on the map for intuitive user experiences. Finally, it’s simple design proved robust and functional for a wide variety of different customers.

If we can learn a thing or two from the iPod, it’s that functionality trumps features. What the iPod and most other Apple products lack in pure technical superiority and features, they more than make up for in end user experience.

Often, products that attempt to be a jack of all trades end up doing nothing extraordinarily well. Conversely, products made to serve a clear purpose do a single task incredibly well, and become the product of choice for a select audience.

In your business, try not to develop products whose purpose gets lost in their list of features. Instead, build products that do one thing remarkably well. …Click to Continue →

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