Digital products no longer just support or entertain, they do create value for the business and for its users or customers. In fact, they are driving a direct income. Therefore, ignoring of the digital space and power of digital products can result in a poor competition game and a conservative old-fashioned way of operating.

In the age of complete digitalization and rapid development of information technologies, it’s even ridiculous to ignore digital opportunities that web products can drive to the business.


Why developing a digital product?

What makes a difference between online and offline businesses is the realization that in the first case software IS the business itself. Because of that, entrepreneurs start looking for companies, who can provide digital product development and think “in products”, rather than sell some outsourced teams or lines of code.

Product thinking concept is pretty similar to business thinking, with the add-on that this business happens in the digital space and has dramatically different customer journey and user experience incorporated into a web application or digital tool.

When thinking about “products” we hardly can imagine a digital product. More likely it would be hardware or manufactured item. Something, that you can touch, review, hold in hands. Most likely this is because the value and usage of such thing are obvious. At the same time, digital products intensively conquer the world, so there are less and less doubts about starting web development process to either support the existing business and move it to another level or start a new business at the cutting edge of new technologies and disruptive innovations.


The evolution of development approaches.

IT industry boosted with outsourcing because business at that time haunted the goal of reducing internal costs and risks associated with the non-critical operational processes. But with time, the profile of the IT industry client has changed from technical people to entrepreneurs, who discovered the opportunities for their businesses in the digital space. Those who order digital products are no longer ex-coders. Those people are entrepreneurs and startup founders. With profile change, the ideal service model has also changed.

The outsourcing model formed a good basis for applications and tools development. It polished the methodologies, management frameworks, best practices, and standards. What lacks in the outsourcing model, in our view, is some marketing or business ingredient. When the team kicks off the outsourced project, the very crucial goal for them is to reach some target with limited resources (like time and budget). And that’s where they drop out of the attention the audience needs (some marketing ingredient) and strategic planning (business ingredient).

This is why applying “product thinking” in web development forms a new service model. Entrepreneur and development companies become partners in creating a digital product and refuse the model of “sub-contractors”, who simply execute the orders in accordance with some specified requirements.


Why product thinking is the new black in web development?

It provides a new vision to what software is. It’s not a set of features and modules, which the team should simply code. It’s more than that. The software provides its users with a solution, some power, some emotions, and experience. In this case, the old-school approach is no longer covering all the basics which are crucial for the outcome.

Product thinking is all about understanding specific problem the product is resolving and the audience of this problem. “What”, “why”, “for whom” – these are the cornerstone questions of the product-thinking-realm, in opposite to “by whom”, “for how much”, “by when” of the outsourcing model. That creates new requirements to specialists who are forming the development team. They are no longer simply an outsourced staff members with labels like “PHP developer” or “front-end developer”. They are rational and pragmatic engineers, who craft the products and have knowledge in nearby areas like user-experience design, interface design, info-structure design, business model forming, etc. Their technical expertise should be supported by other knowledge areas, which allows them suggesting a complex solution that hits many targets.

For some businesses, digital or technology transformation is not questionable. It is a survival mechanism and a competition basis. As a result, that demanded a fundamental change in the development approach, that can meet new business conjuncture. It leads to a different service model, transformation of ideal team skill-set profile and a new type of produced result.

Try it!

Read more about discovery phase in product development here.


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