Continuing the Conversation on Finding an Unsolved Problem

Continuing the discussion around how to approach developing a new to the world / industry product (that started off over in the Ask A Good Product Manager post) I wanted to point to a great post and developing conversation that Saeed Khan kicked off over on the blog On Product Management.  Saeed tackles this question admirably and offers thoughts about why sometimes you just have to proceed in developing since consumers might have no idea they have a problem until they are presented with the solution.  I think the discussion that ensues in the Comments section, where I’ve added my own two cents, pretty thoroughly explores the space and helps clarify thinking in how to approach developing a novel solution.

Heelys Kids

I personally believe the framework for new product development remains highly relevant even for novel solutions where  a real world context is hard to identify.  It just requires flexibility in how you approach it and a willingness to proceed based on your own personal convictions while seeking additional data to support your belief that there is a pony in there somewhere.

2 Replies to “Continuing the Conversation on Finding an Unsolved Problem”

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the link and discussion about my blog post. The fact that you have a Wheelies picture is very interesting. Those shoes were one of the products I was considering writing about when I wrote my post. Who wudda thunk a there was enough of a gap between shoes and rollerskates to launch a successful product.

  2. Saeed, I’ve enjoyed the discussion and was impressed with the work you and the others are writing when I found your site through the Cranky PM’s site. The Wheelies photo is a direct meta-reference back to your post. It always surprises me when a niche like Wheelies pops up in the market. It seems so straightforward and yet none of the roller skate or skateboard manufacturers came up with the idea. It took an outsider to develop it. That’s the danger of too narrowly defining your market and not asking the crazy, “What if” questions.

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