Crafting The First Mile of Product: What Makes a Company "Future Ready"?

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Hatched by Glasp

Aug 19, 2023

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Crafting The First Mile of Product: What Makes a Company "Future Ready"?

In the fast-paced world of technology and business, it is crucial for companies to stay ahead of the competition and constantly evolve. This requires a deep understanding of user needs and a commitment to innovation. In this article, we will explore two separate topics - crafting the first mile of a product and what makes a company "future ready" - and find common points that can help guide companies towards success.

When it comes to crafting the first mile of a product, it is important to understand the mindset of your users. In the first 15 seconds, users are lazy, vain, and selfish. They don't want to invest time in something they don't know, they want to look good quickly using your product, and they want to know what immediate benefit they will receive. This insight highlights the importance of providing immediate novelty or utility to engage new users. Users don't want to make choices, especially in the first mile, so it is crucial to make the experience as simple and familiar as possible.

Similarly, in order for a company to be "future ready," it must continuously evolve and stay ahead of its competitors. It is essential for companies to regularly shift their know-how and avoid stagnation. This requires a willingness to explore new areas and opportunities, even when the evidence is unclear. Companies that successfully navigate the future are those that maintain a healthy portion of activities dedicated to exploring the new. They commit themselves to difficult choices and tough tradeoffs guided by a vision about the future.

One common point between crafting the first mile of a product and becoming future ready is the importance of partnerships and collaboration. Instead of trying to outrun disruptors and tech giants, companies like Mastercard and Visa have partnered with their rivals to the benefit of all involved. They have invested in a wide range of application programming interfaces (APIs) and recognized that killer apps are often invented by third parties who are closer to their customers. This insight can be applied to both crafting the first mile of a product and becoming future ready - companies should not overlook the power of collaboration and embracing external expertise.

Another common point is the need for companies to have a strong viewpoint about the future. Companies like Nike, Lululemon, and Hermes rely on a strong viewpoint to guide their learning and decision-making processes. They exhibit a high degree of certainty, even in the face of uncertainty. This ability to combine high learning with a strong viewpoint is crucial for both crafting the first mile of a product and becoming future ready. Visionary leaders understand the importance of updating their mental models when new data emerges and are not afraid to take risks based on their vision for the future.

To summarize, crafting the first mile of a product and becoming future ready require similar approaches. Both require a deep understanding of user needs and a commitment to innovation. Companies must provide immediate novelty or utility to engage new users and make the experience as simple and familiar as possible. They must also continuously evolve and explore new areas, even when the evidence is unclear. Collaboration and partnerships are crucial, as well as having a strong viewpoint about the future.

To help companies on their journey towards success, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Focus on the first mile: Allocate at least 30% of your energy to crafting the first mile of your product. This is the top of your funnel for new users and needs to be the most thought-out part of your product.
  • 2. Embrace partnerships: Don't try to outrun disruptors and tech giants, instead, partner with them. Invest in external expertise and recognize that killer apps may be invented by third parties who are closer to your customers.
  • 3. Maintain a strong viewpoint: Have a clear vision for the future and update your mental models when new data emerges. Be willing to take risks based on your vision, even in the face of uncertainty.

In conclusion, crafting the first mile of a product and becoming future ready are two interconnected concepts. Both require companies to deeply understand user needs, innovate, and evolve. By focusing on the first mile of their product and embracing partnerships, companies can engage new users and stay ahead of the competition. By adopting a strong viewpoint about the future, companies can guide their learning and decision-making processes. In a rapidly changing world, it is crucial for companies to constantly adapt and strive for success.

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