If you have an idea for a new product (and you’re doing it right), you’re looking to solve a problem for consumers.  Maybe you have an idea for an app that you’re 100% sure has a home in the marketplace.  That’s great, that’s what successful product development is all about, but what you also need to realize is that you’re not telling consumers what they want or need, you’re being informed by them.

Consumer feedback is essential in product development, and the good news is that it’s never been easier to get that feedback.  Control has been moved out of the hands of expert designers and into the hands of the public themselves.  Consumers play a bigger role in product design than they ever have before because they want products that match their own unique style.

Products are more customizable because consumers demand it.  Product development teams are now incorporating the consumer into the process, and this a great thing for Product Owners.  A transparent process is a continuing trend which has allowed for innovative and improvements that allow only the best designs to reach to the public.

User-generated content is changing nearly every aspect of design.  This content could come from blogs, vlogs, comments, social media trends, any number of places. The entire world has become your focus group.  There are no excuses.  Listen to your consumer.  Take advantage of the wealth of feedback.  What are consumers saying about your brand?  Analytics can crunch the numbers, but nothing will replace listening to actual users’ thoughts and ideas.  But it’s not just about listening to them.  It’s about empowering them, letting them know that their thoughts matter.

Adapt and understand is the cornerstone of agile development.  Release early and collect feedback.  Don’t cling to your precious ideas.  It won’t end the way you want.    If you want to be successful you have to adapt to user demands, because if you don’t, they’ll move on to the person who does.  The consumer is king, and hail to the king, baby.

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/govert1970/


CEO and Co-founder of Rootstrap Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Rootstrap, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.