How to understand your product and your market

Freshness Warning
This blog post is over 2 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current and the links no longer work.

Once you’re measuring your product-market fit though the end-user satisfaction question you will want to know "why?" Why do the people who love your product love it?

It sounds strange, but most product people don’t understand their products. They know the product features. They know who they think the market is. But they don’t know who loves their product. They don’t know what those people love about it. And this can often be something different than what the product set out to be.

You can ask your end-users another question if you want to understand your product through the eyes of your biggest fans. Ask them what their favorite parts of your product are. You need to phrase this in a way that doesn’t ask about features, or you’ll get a boring list of functional features that doesn’t tell you much. Your product is more than a list of features. Your product feedback needs to be more than a list of features, too. You want feedback to be a mix of functional and non-functional things.

Ask, "What do you like best about the product?"

Phrased this way, some users may mention their favorite feature. Some will talk about how it makes them feel. Some will talk about what problem it solves for them. They might mention your customer service. Your pricing. Or even how fast and responsive the product is.

Cluster the responses. There will be outliers. Someone probably just loves that one of your buttons is purple. But the biggest clusters of responses coming from your biggest fans are the reason that your target customer loves your product. The people that fall into those clusters represent the target customer for the product you have today. There’s a growth opportunity in finding customers that are looking for a product that fills those same needs.

Recently Written

The Trap of The Sales-Led Product (Dec 10)
It’s not a winning way to build a product company.
The Hidden Cost of Custom Customer Features (Dec 7)
One-off features will cost you more than you think and make your customers unhappy.
Domain expertise in Product Management (Nov 16)
When you're hiring software product managers, hire for product management skills. Looking for domain experts will reduce the pool of people you can hire and might just be worse for your product.
Strategy Means Saying No (Oct 27)
An oft-overlooked aspect of strategy is to define what you are not doing. There are lots of adjacent problems you can attack. Strategy means defining which ones you will ignore.
Understanding vision, strategy, and execution (Oct 24)
Vision is what you're trying to do. Strategy is broad strokes on how you'll get there. Execution is the tasks you complete to complete the strategy.
How to advance your Product Market Fit KPI (Oct 21)
Finding the gaps in your product that will unlock the next round of growth.
Developer Relations as Developer Success (Oct 19)
Outreach, marketing, and developer evangelism are a part of Developer Relations. But the companies that are most successful with developers spend most of their time on something else.
Developer Experience Principle 6: Easy to Maintain (Oct 17)
Keeping your product Easy to Maintain will improve the lives of your team and your customers. It will help keep your docs up to date. Your SDKs and APIs will be released in sync. Your tooling and overall experience will shine.


What I'm Reading


Adam Kalsey

+1 916 600 2497


Public Key

© 1999-2023 Adam Kalsey.