The definition of ‘ideal’ often differs from situation to situation. What is ideal for a public company may not work for a start-up. And so is the case with product lifecycle. The linear model that is so looked upon and adopted by entrepreneurs also happens to be the cause of failure for many start-ups.
What is a Linear Product Lifecycle?
Simple and smooth, right? But, sadly this model seldom works.
- It’s not a cycle
A neat and tidy set of sequential steps never works for a start-up. It’s the network of interconnected disciplines working together to achieve the goals that help in making the product a success.
- Design is just an after thought
Most start-ups consider design as just the look and feel of the product. But in reality, design is how the users see and experience the product.
- It has no scope for improvement
With the markets changing by the minute, one cannot develop a product based on a research conducted three months ago. Which means that to stay up-to-date, the product development process has to be dynamic.
If this is not ideal, then what?
To understand this, let’s take a step back and understand what the 3Ps are and what role do they play in a start-up.
It’s the first stage where the idea for the start-up is born, a problem is defined, requirements to build the product are listed, the solution is validated and a plan for marketing the product is chalked out. Here, the focus is to understand the market and find where the idea/solution fits in the grand scheme of things.
The second and the most crucial stage where the idea is analysed from a customer’s perspective, the solution is tested and a prototype (use case scenario or wireframe) is created for the product that reflects the core experience of the product from a customer’s viewpoint. In this stage, the objective is to create a sustainable product design that helps in understanding the customers’ needs and desires to build a great product and also facilitates subsequent versions, if the pilot run is successful.
The final stage where based on the product design, the solution is built using the technology defined in the product management phase. Here, the product is also tested for bugs and fixes in the final phase of its development to retrofit/upgrade the features which were defined in the first two stages. In this phase, the focus is on actual user experience encountered by the prospective end-users.
3Ps for a successful start-up
When these 3Ps work in tandem with each other, a product lifecycle ‘ideal’ for a start-up is born. In this lifecycle, product management makes way for a sound product design while laying down the foundation for a great product development process. Product design validates the idea of the start-up by giving a face to the flowchart drawn in the project management phase and being a blueprint for product development. Project development both builds the solution from the management phase and validates the design.
Hence, when the product lifecycle is interconnected –the 3Ps make a great recipe for a successful start-up.
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