Mcoach, Product excellence simplified, Digital product Leadership, Product Management

What is a product ?

Very few things unite us as global citizens. Unhappiness tops the list. We humans believe that the route to contentment, comfort, satiety, warmth, peace and happiness passes through right choices, decisions and experiences.

According to psychologists, Seeking new, making progress, getting recognized are self therapies we seek to overcome inabilities and discontentment.

Are you wondering “Why are we talking psychology ?” A product is a mechanism to transfer visionary efficiencies to other people and help them overcome constraints impeding progress.

A product is a bundle of distinct experiences a customer would like to ideally have in a specific context as they go about with their lives.

A product is a tool to connect human beings and facilitate progress in their lives. It is an intermediary between the people who create it and the people who consume it.

Why do we build Products?

A product represents different things to different groups of individuals.

  1. As a user, you look at it as a bundle of change,
  2. As a buyer you look at it as a bundle of value,
  3. As a decider you look at it as a bundle of outcomes,
  4. As a visionary you look at it as a bundle of opportunity,
  5. As an technologist you look at it as innovative engineering,
  6. As a Designer you look at it as an ideal solution,
  7. As a marketer you look at it as a bundle of benefits,
  8. As a investor, you look at it as a bundle of profits,

Each of these stakeholders are looking to fulfill the objectives of their job

  1. We build products to make each of these stakeholders progress in their Lives
  2. We build products to broadbase capability and democratize outcomes.
  3. We build products to maximize benefits and minimize errors.
  4. We build products to fulfill the expectations of these stakeholders dependents.
  5. We build products because the alternate is an untenable situation that deteriorates our quality of life.
  6. We build products because we see a significant group of people are clueless in the face of a debilitating impediment.
  7. We build products because we are able to anticipate something based on scientific insights and creative instincts.

“Our job is to figure out what customers are going to want before they do.” – Steve Jobs.

Who do We Build Products for ?

World is filled with only 2 kinds of people. Proactives and Reactives.

Reactives are those who care because they need to. Proactives are those who care because they want to.

As a customer you are defined by the need. It’s ok to be reactive.

As a creator you are defined by the want.

Be Proactive. We build products to satiate the needs of our customer’s (decider and user).We don’t build products to satisfy our stakeholders (investors, employees).

What drives a successful product effort ?

“We start with a customer need and work backwards” – said Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

Successful products are made by integrated teams with a sole mission to please particular types of people with same needs.

To fulfill their needs in exclusion of everything else. Ultra successful companies like Amazon call it as customer obsession,

Customer Obsession is the Science and Art of being proactive with your customer. Anticipating their needs and innovating on their behalf.

Customer obsession is about tireless listening to their verbal and non verbal feedback.

Customer obsession is about grasping their unpredictable behavior.

Customer obsession is about identifying outlier patterns within populations.

Customer obsession is about anticipating and eradicating friction in their process, tasks, activities.

Why customer obsession is crucial to product success ?

There are many ways for an organization to flourish.You can be very successful company by being product obsessed, competitor obsessed, technology obsessed, business model obsessed and market obsessed.

Any of the above methods can help you achieve your business goals.

Customer Obsession empowers you to reach market leadership in a healthier way.

Customer Obsession Prepares you to adapt against constantly changing needs, wants and expectations.

Customer Obsession propagates the attitude, structure and processes to invent and pioneer on behalf of the customer.

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs,

All companies claim to be customer obsessed. Reality is different. Aspiration is good. Sustained customer centric action is the only way to a higher share of revenues.

What are the ingredients of customer obsession ?

A mindset that is attuned to always deliver deliver disproportionate value to the customer An attitude that goes beyond the obvious, anticipates expectations and sets customer delight as the pursuit.

A leadership that measures performance based on strengths of relationships as indicated by customer engagement, customer retention, customer advocacy and customer churn.

A culture of leveraging persistent user research and user feedback to gather insights and develop new ideas for the customer.

A knowledge base that accumulates the minutest of customer details into customer maps so as to grasp the full customer journey.

A process that is instituted to pursue sustained Listening, ruthless Experimentation, rigorous Invention and Continuous Validation.

A team that is comfortable with change, nimble in its structure and is organized to adapt to customer evolution.

An Operation that is capable of collecting full spectrum customer interaction data, armed with tools to analyze strategic and tactical perspectives and a decision making pipeline that prioritizes these insights across the organization.

Essentials of Product Management

Last updated Apr. 1, 2019

Program Director – Product Management

Digital Product leadership


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