A digital product is born from a spark of geniosity, better known as an idea. The transformation of this idea into a digital product is the process that can destine it to success or failure.
Concepting – a general notion or idea; a conception. An idea of something formed by mentally combining all its characteristics or particulars; a construct.
Digital Product Idea – a result of the thinking process which lays the foundation in one’s field of knowledge and experience and results in mental visualization of a new product or an improvement to an existing one.
The majority of products fail. They fail for two reasons: one is the very product, while the other is the business that operates it. What this book deals with is making sure the product is not the reason for business failure. This trend is present not only in startups but also in SMEs and enterprises. It is important to grasp this: there is a business and there is a product, in which case the product is a business tool. Let’s imagine a race track for a moment and think about a car and a driver in this analogy: the car is the product and the driver is the founder; the driver (founder) employs the best of his/her skills, knowledge and experience to operate the car (product) in order to get from point A to point B (from investment to profitability) in the most efficient manner (the most efficient utilization of resources) so as to cross the finishing line as a handful of the best (successfully goes through the technology adoption lifecycle and crosses the chasm; if you are not familiar with it – in the simplest term, make the business sustainable).
If the product is what it needs to be and it performs, it is only up to the business to make it a success. Both the product and the business must be in sync at all times.
“Before light there was darkness” and before business there was product, whereas before product there was idea. The transformation of that idea into a digital product and a synchronized coexistence of the product and the idea is the process that can destine the business to success or failure.
One of the primary reasons for the aforementioned failure is the lack of proper product development (concepting, as I prefer to call it). In this case, the product may not fail early in the process, but it will in the early stages of its life-cycle because of the way it had been concepted. There is a strong bond between this and how the product was built, but that is a different topic that I will briefly address at the end of the book.
Failure may occur as early on as during product design, and thus it can be as damaging as when we during software development, and as expensive as when it reaches the customers. The best moment for a product to fail and for you to be happy about it is during concepting when the least effort and the smallest amount of resources are invested in the product and when everything that comes after can be validated, especially the design, the build, and the road to the market.
This book is about the concepting of digital products and even though the entire process can amount to ten rules, there is so much more to it – which is the very reason this book was written. I have concepted and built over two hundred products with my core team. This book is the result of more than a decade of hands-on experience and during that time I witnessed many successes, but even more failures. This book is focused on my 12-milestone methodology for digital product concepting and it offers the reader the means to sustain great inspirations to avoid hidden and inevitable risks of failure. I tried to choose the adequate verb that would portray exactly how great inspirations need to be managed, since, even though they are the primary driver of a new business, they also put that future business at risk. At times, you will need to sustain your great inspirations, whereas, at times, you will have to restrain them.
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Ivan Trajkovic is the founder of three IT companies: Ivan Agency, Engineers and Engineers London. Funnily enough, his initials are IT.
After having lived through years of war and poverty, he graduated from Nova Southeastern University with B.Sc. in CIS in 2004. Ivan is among a handful of his generation in his home country Serbia to win the generation’s dream of a full basketball scholarship at a university in the States.
He loves breathing life into digital products. In his successful management so far, there are more than two hundred digital products to show for it, hundreds more to come and he wants to create value by sharing his passion, knowledge, experience and future endeavors.
“Concepting, building and innovating a digital product is like raising a child in a way, and there is no better feeling than that! Do not forget — raise it well and it will love you back and look after you…”