Focusing Technology and Creating Products - What We Need to Know


Many students put good-enough energy to develop their BS final year project, looks very inspired by the technology-stack they are using and mostly ask things related to technology only. When you discuss, they claim to launch the product too. Young friends, products are not made like this. Let me share few things that I have learned with time:

Developing something to learn a technology (Node.js, Angular, .Net, Android, etc) and creating a real product are two different things. If you want to create a product, your primary focus should be market e.g. target customers, value creation, user experience design, understanding market need and gap, knowing target users and their pain-points, product management, idea validation and testing, understanding business processes your product target, along with creating the actual product. Technology matters but not that much as craftmen think. Technology stack can be improved, no one really cares about the tech-stack you used as long as your product solve their problem. How many times you think which programming language is used to develop MS Excel? Very less! we are more concerned about the value it delivers and the problem it solve. Most of the time, you mainly focus on technology, rather than market. You always dicuss and ask queries about features, database design, performance optimization, exceptions or technical issues, programming langauge, frameworks and different APIs. No one ask/discuss the market aspects. If your focus is learning tech-stack to find a right job or freelance, then it make sense to not focus on product market but if you want to launch the product, then you can't ignore market.

Another, most important thing is, creating products or doing a startup requires JANOON, extreme desire to understand what needs to be done and then doing in agile way without wasting any time. Only extreme desire to create it, would convince you to read a lot of stuff related to product management, only then you would source and meet related experts, you would find related events to attend, only then you would meet real customers in advance. It would help you to ask right qeuestions that must be answered before you create a product. Your curosity and extreme desire to succeed (if its really there) is enough to find the answers. Products are not developed in air, they require different skillset and different mindset. If you can't put required energy, you should focus at technology learning so that you can capitalize it better in tech jobs.

To start with, I recommend to quickly read some books to understand basics of how people, who built successful products/companies think, what products are (its much more than a code written in modern programming language), how products are built, how features are priortized and what are the market issues your product must address. I recommend you to read a lot, starting from Zero to One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters, The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz, Kuch Nahin say Sub Kuch by Salim Ghouri, Purple Cow by Seth Godin, Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, Start-up Nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer to start with. Here I share a general formula to find good stuff to read that I derived after reading tens of books ... read books written by professional investors, marketers, economists, founders and CEOs of successfull companies if you really want to learn how business work. But you must remember, reading books would not make you an expert. Experimenting ideas and continuously improving based on customers feedback would help in long run but books would introduce you to the world of products and business (the skill that we generaly lack as a nation), they would help you to know what to really focus on, to know what are the real problems and the most important, books would help you to ask right questions - the only requirement to reach answers.

Hope it would help you. Stay blessed and keep working.

Comments

  1. Great , sir all your discussion is helpfull . But is this not responsibility of institute where you put half of million just because you don't know any thing about the field that you pay for ? e.g Project manager in software house required be business degree e.g BBA/MBA( not all time ) with intro of technology as compare this position with developer to have 10+ experience.

    2. Ask business for coder first thing came in mind is freelancing 0 investment .But students don't have courage to start not because they don't know technology but because they feared to start . Where you learn all of things sir mentioned above starting from req to end.

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    1. Institutes have failed to bring/retain quality professionals in teaching. Students seriousness level also need to be improved a lot, they (mostly) even don't learn what they are taught (the tech stuff). If students set aim to learn for knowledge, excellence and business instead of just degree/job, things would improve a lot, new ways and resources would start appearing. Never look at institute for important things, just go ahead, find what you need, learn and capitalize it.

      I learned many important things very late and through hard way i.e. from experience, experiments and books (I am still learing, so don't take me as an expert).

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