The Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG) was created to share our lessons learned and knowledge of best practices with our clients. Our four partners are all industry veterans, who have each held executive level positions at major Silicon Valley firms where they have been instrumental in the development of leading products. We are not career consultants; we started SVPG to share what we’ve learned.  >> Manifesto     >> Team

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The Power of Customer Misbehavior

There are of course many ways to come up with significant new product ideas.  Historically, the two main approaches have been: 1) to try to assess the market opportunities and pick potentially lucrative areas where significant pain exists; and 2) to look at what the technology or data enables – what’s just now possible – and match that up with the significant pain.   You can think of the first as following the market, and the second as following the technology.  Either way can get you to product market fit.

However, some of the most successful companies today have actually taken a third approach, and while it’s not appropriate for every company, I would like to suggest that this is an extremely powerful technique that’s largely under-utilized and under-appreciated in our industry.  This third alternative is to allow, and even encourage, our customers to use our products to solve problems other than what we planned for and officially support.  

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