April 16, 2023

Why You Should Invest in Product Discovery

Consumers have many choices now, thanks to the never-ending influx of new and innovative products. Companies invest significant resources into research and development, hoping to strike gold with the next big thing. Despite all this effort, the reality is that the vast majority of new products fail.

Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, revealed that annually, over 30,000 new consumer products are brought out to the market, but shockingly only 5% of them go on to be successful. This leaves many businesses wondering what went wrong.

To mitigate against product failure, businesses must invest in product discovery, a process of exploring customer needs, pain points, and desires to develop products that solve them.

What is Product Discovery?

Product discovery is a fundamental stage of product development and sets the basis for designing, developing, and launching. It's imperative to get this first step right to give a sound foundation for what follows.  It involves gathering information and insights through research, interviews, customer feedback, product analysis, and usability testing to identify a high-potential product idea that meets the needs and desires of the target market.


A successful product discovery process should result in a clear understanding of the problem to be solved, the key user personas, the product requirements and features, and the business value proposition. By conducting a thorough product discovery process, businesses increase their chances of creating successful products that meet customer needs, drive growth, and ensure a better user experience.

Benefits of Investing in Product Discovery

Product development can be a daunting process; there are no guarantees that the finished product will live up to customers' expectations. Nonetheless, investing in product discovery helps you maximize your chances of success. This process has numerous advantages, such as:

Gain Insight into the Potential Value of Your Solution

Product discovery helps you understand the needs of your target customers and how your product can solve their problems. This information is invaluable as it allows you to gauge the potential success of your product before you invest time and resources in building it. Knowing what your customers are looking for and need is essential to creating a product that will fulfil their expectations.

Deliver Better Value

Investing in product discovery helps you deliver better value to your customers. By understanding their needs, you build a product that provides them with the features and functionality most required - leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as improved sales and revenue.

Cut Effort that won't Deliver Value

Gaining insights into your customer's requirements can be extremely beneficial in order to effectively manage your resources and aim for the best results. This way, you can focus on meaningful tasks and avoid wasting effort.

Impress and Keep Your Customers

Knowing your customer's needs is the key to creating a product that resonates with them and meets their requirements. It boosts customer loyalty as well as positive word-of-mouth about your brand. Satisfied customers will be more likely to share their positive experiences with others, advocating for your products or services.

Reduced Risks

Investing in product discovery is a smart choice for businesses aiming to minimize risks; it is an asset to the product development process as it reduces the risk of failure. By gaining a better understanding of your users' pain points, you develop more customized products and avoid any potential failure.

Drive Innovation and Competitive Advantage

Companies need to continually monitor the market and stay on top of industry trends in order to stay competitive and relevant in the market. Understanding customers' needs & preferences through product discovery is essential for any business to remain competitive. Continuous discovery helps brands maintain a competitive edge over their rivals.

Steps to an Effective Product Discovery

Having a proper & organized product discovery process is a must for any company wanting to create impactful solutions for real-world problems. There are seven steps one should take in order to carry out an effective product discovery procedure. These include:

Set up Your Product Discovery Team

Product discovery is a collaborative effort that requires the input of multiple teams with different perspectives and skill sets. Setting up a well-equipped team is the key to successful product discovery. The ideal team should comprise a product manager, designers, developers as well as data analysts. This combination of skill and knowledge is essential for analyzing & interpreting data, generating ideas, and building prototypes.

A diverse team with varied backgrounds, experiences, and expertise greatly benefits the product discovery process by bringing different ideas and viewpoints to the table.

Learn About User Problems

To develop a successful product, have a deep understanding of the problems that users are facing. Rather than dwelling on preconceived notions, take a step back and prioritize understanding the users and what they are looking for. This can be done through various methods such as surveys, focus groups, customer feedback, and usability testing.


The goal is to identify the pain points and needs of your users or potential users and understand how they interact with the current product or service.

Analyze the Problem

The data collected earlier has to be carefully studied in order to gain meaningful insights and put them into action. This involves data synthesis, identifying patterns and trends, and understanding the cause of the problem. Drafting user stories can help in understanding trends among different groups of users and sources. It further allows you to identify recurring topics and patterns for further analysis.

Brainstorm Solutions

Once the insights have been gathered and analyzed, the team can start brainstorming solutions. The goal is to generate a large number of ideas, without judgment or criticism. The team should be encouraged to think outside the box and consider different angles to address the identified problems. No idea is too crazy or unrealistic during the brainstorming phase.


Involve members from product, design, engineering, marketing, and other relevant teams. Collaborative tools such as virtual whiteboards or mind mapping software can help to organize and group the ideas generated during the brainstorming process. This helps the team to identify themes and patterns in the ideas and refine them further.

Internal and External Validation

Validation helps to ensure that the solutions are not only technically feasible, but also meet user needs, align with business goals, and are viable in the market.

1. Internal Validation

Internal validation entails gathering the opinions of different stakeholders within a company to check the usability, viability, or any technical solutions that may be needed. Here are some key considerations for internal validation:


●  Technical feasibility: Can the solution be built with existing resources and technologies?

●  Usability: Is the solution easy to use and intuitive for the target users?

●  Business goals: Does the solution align with the organization's goals and vision?

●  Resources: Does the solution require additional resources (e.g., time, money, personnel) and are these resources available?

●  Risk assessment: What are the potential risks associated with the solution and how can they be mitigated?


By conducting internal validation, the team can identify potential roadblocks early on in the process and address them before moving to the next phase.

2. External Validation

External validation is critical for ensuring that the solution meets the needs of the target users and is viable in the market. A/B testing is a useful tool for external product validation to find the optimal solution. It might also be worth considering fake door testing, as this can provide insights into user interests.

Prototype and Test

The team can now move to the prototyping stage, where they create a working model of the proposed solution. The goal is to create a minimum viable product (MVP) that can be tested with users to validate the assumptions made in the previous steps.


To cost-effectively realize a concept, create a prototype, and gather validation from real customers. This will give you invaluable feedback that can help refine your solution idea before any substantial investments are made.

Continuous Discovery

Product discovery is a continuous process and doesn't end after the product development and delivery stage. It requires constant monitoring and improvements to ensure maximum customer satisfaction.

Keeping your product up-to-date with user requirements is vital for success. Keep exploring and conducting continual research. This allows you to remain current on market trends and ensure a positive customer experience.


Investing in product discovery provides multiple benefits that can help you develop successful products. Keep in mind that customer needs are constantly changing and investing in product discovery can help you remain current with those evolving needs. By investing in product discovery, you can gain valuable insights into customer needs, preferences, and behaviours. This knowledge can prove to be incredibly helpful in creating products or services which fulfil their expectations and satisfy their requirements.

Consequently, investing in product discovery is a sound idea to increase your likelihood of success. By being conscious of consumer pain points, you can build products with greater worth, connect with your target demographic, and eventually reach your organizational objectives.