Do you want make successful products? I do.
But I like to use simple heuristics – rather than complicated ideas – to help me do this. I always look first for the simplest way to think about product management problems or situations. I’ve written about my three product rules of thumb which can determine if a product can be successful. There’s also my take on agile, ways to get over creative blocks, and how to prioritize.
Another great heuristic I love is Doug Hall’s Three Laws of Marketing Physics. He describes them in his book Jump Start Your Business Brain. (Which I highly recommend – it’s a great read for this and many other great ideas.)
Hall is an innovation expert, the inventor of Innovation Engineering, and founder of Eureka Ranch. He and his team run Eureka Inventing, among other programs. These are innovation sessions with teams from large and small companies who need to improve their products. It’s a 12-week process that “takes you from dreams and goals to a Meaningfully Unique Innovation that is highly protectable.”
The Three Laws of Marketing Physics capture the three things you need to maximize the likelihood of product success. They don’t guarantee success, but if you don’t have them your probability of success plummets.
Your product must have:
It’s immediately obvious that a product that aligns with the Three Laws of Marketing Physics will have a distinct advantage. But Hall goes farther in his book and lays out exactly how much the advantage is. For example, a product with a low Dramatic Difference has a 15% likelihood of success. A product with a high Dramatic Difference has a 53% probability of success. And a product that combines all three – an Overt Benefit, a Real Reason To Believe, and a Dramatic Difference has a compounding effect on probability of success.
If you’re a product person and you can’t articulate these three Laws for your product, you have some woodshedding to do.
The 3 Laws of Marketing Physics are a mental model, and like the other mental models we use in product management, they give you a lot of power for building successful product and getting successful them to market. I have a couple of articles about mental models, and I’ve given a talk for Product Tank in San Francisco about the topic:
What mental models do you find yourself returning to in your product management career? Leave me a comment below! I read and respond to all of my comments.
Your host and author, Nils Davis, is a long-time product manager, consultant, trainer, and coach. He is the author of The Secret Product Manager Handbook, many blog posts, a series of video trainings on product management, and the occasional grilled pizza.
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