Discovery/the problem

The problem space

As I mentioned earlier, product managers work to add value to users and the business. The problem space is where your user needs are. This could be the challenges/pain-points they face, their goals or their desires.

'Customers don’t care about your solution. They care about their problems’ - Dave McClure

It is a product manager's role to ensure the product allows users to overcome their problem or achieve a goal. However, people don’t often communicate what their problem is in a clear way. We often think of solutions because as users we don’t know any better (e.g. asking for a feature because they think it will help, rather than being clear why they want that feature. Product Managers must read between lines to define the problem space.

Product / Market fit

Getting the balance between adding value to users and adding value to the business is known as product / market fit.

An image of the product market triangle. From Dan Olsen’s book. Resources section.

  • Target Customer: Who are they?

  • Underserved Needs: What are their needs?

  • Value Proposition: How the customer benefits and how our product is better.

  • Feature Set: The functionality that supports those benefits.

  • User Experience (UX): What the customer interacts with to get the benefits