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How to Define A Winning, AI-Driven Product Strategy
Lessons From My journey Building an AI-driven Product Business...
This is Pt. 2 of an article series on my lessons learnt building an AI-driven product.
Last week, we looked at the importance of acuteness & addressability when deciding on a problem to solve.
This week, we’ll explore how to craft a unique value proposition & product strategy to help you find a gap in the market.
Product Strategy + AI
One big difference working on an AI-driven business I’ve realised?
The product strategy is a hell of a lot easier.
It almost comes down to speed, cost and/or ease. Examples:
Speed: Build presentations in minutes (my product)
Cost: Simple, free accounting (Indy)
Ease: Social media on autopilot (Conte)
Take a non-AI product on the other hand?
Everyone has had access to the same technology, so it’s hard to differentiate.
We have to be creative & find some new way to solve the problem:
For example, a new clothing brand might focus on differentiating through being eco-friendly, or specifically targeted at a “skateboarder” niche, or just focus on selling whacky hats.
When AI lies at the heart of your solution, you don’t need to be so creative in your differentiation…
You can simply say: We are gonna do this thing, but faster, cheaper and/or easier.
The product I’m building at the moment is a presentation tool.
“Build highly-engaging presentations in minutes.”
The focus is speed and, as a result, we can be pretty confident that this is, in fact, something that our target market values (who doesn’t want to save time on mundane work tasks?).
That’s the core of our product strategy.
If we believe something will help our users make a presentation faster, we’ll consider building it. If not, we’ll ignore it.
Simple as that.
The hard part?
Actually delivering that value - and not getting distracted by shiny new things to lose focus on increasing speed. This is the phase we are just entering as we start building our first functional prototype.
Just Because it’s Simple, Don’t Assume It’s A Good Product Strategy!
Just because we think our target market would obviously want to save time, does not necessarily make it true.
It might be the case that they don’t spend much time on presentations at the moment…
Or in fact they enjoy it as one of the rare creative parts of their week…
Or they rarely do presentations, so our offer is irrelevant for them…
Before committing to building anything, you need to answer this key question:
Does our target user actually want this thing?
That’s where the Minimal Viable Offer (MVO) comes in.
The MVO is a way to answer that question by testing out a single, concise offer statement focused on:
Who you are targeting
What outcome you promise to deliver
How you deliver it in a unique way
For example, with our presentation product, we decided upon the following MVO: “We help [PMs] [create highly-engaging presentations] [in minutes]”
Once we defined the MVO, you need to then validate it i.e. test that who you are targeting is actually willing to engage in your offer (a signal that they are interested).
We did this last week for my presentation product:
1. Reach out to that audience: We messaged Product Managers who we thought this would be a good fit for (specifically, those doing weekly or daily presentations)
2. Post: I have a following on LinkedIn & know that PMs hang out on LinkedIn, so posted on there. Reddit or Facebook might be a better fit for you. It just depends where your target market hangs out
3. Pitch your offer to them with a clear CTA: For example, I stated the problem to grab their attention, posted our MVO to attract them to what we are doing, then had a CTA to sign up for our Beta programme (see image attached) to convert them
With a single post that took 2mins to put together?
32 Product Managers signed up for our Beta programme & filled in survey questions that now give us rich data on what we should include in our initial prototype!
🤔 Struggling with presentations that take you too long to put together? Why not sign up for our Beta?
It really is that simple with an AI-driven product strategy:
Decide whether speed, ease and/or cost are most important for your target market.
Define an MVO.
Validate it by finding that target market & seeing whether they sign up for your offer.
The hard part? Iterating until you find the right MVO that hits the mark!