Text | Zhenzi Editor | Huang Zhenquan What kind of product is a good product?This problem runs through the entire era of mobile internet.The most common view is that a product exists to meet user needs, address its pain points, and provide a good user experience.But product managers at Facebook, Microsoft, and Google—Pas Detroit, Aditya Agash, and Neil Mehta believe that focusing on a product from the demand side is not the whole thing.”Quality products can achieve user goals while reducing potential harm to users … but if a product with a good user experience fails, it is also very inconvenient for users. Therefore, good products also need to adapt to the market.” They are this viewSupporters.This sentence implies three layers of information.The easiest thing to understand is that the original intention of a product was to meet user expectations.Secondly, the products affirmed by users will inevitably produce commercial demands, but if there is no reasonable business model, their death will be accelerated.Finally, the contradiction between user experience and commercialization will be put on the table, making the product face a more severe test.Obviously, this view not only focuses on “meeting user needs”, but also emphasizes the commercial significance behind it.In this context, the tasks that product managers need to complete are not just requirements gathering, product design, and overall R & D.In higher requirements, they also need to understand their own market environment and design a path for products to win competition.”It’s hard to say that a product is ‘perfect’ because everyone has their own standards. But we can say that products with a good user experience and sustainable business models are generally better.” In the book “Slide Unlock”, thisThe three product managers use some examples to prove the elements of a good product.For example, Spotify’s song recommendation mechanism is a selling point (but the song library is not a selling point, because anyone can build a song library), which can help it stand out from competing products such as Apple Music; the failure of the BlackBerry phone is not the productThe polishing itself is because it ignores the purchasing power of non-commercial consumers and misses the “APP economy”; the case of KaiOS (a mobile operating system born in 2017 and its popularity in the Indian market within a year) is even more interestingIt provides a counterattack route for small products-do not compete with giants in terms of function, but compete in assumptions, and break assumptions that the giants cherish.If you take an example from a Chinese product, the three product managers think TikTok (Tou Yin Overseas Edition) is a good case.Because it not only captures the change of users’ preferences for content, uses recommendation mechanisms to meet their needs, but also cleverly combines commercial exploration and content-in TikTok’s video content, advertising is as interesting as non-advertising.And this model can benefit everyone: advertisers get more exposure, users see more interesting content, and TikTok earns user fees while earning advertising fees.”The key is to understand human psychology, not blindly follow the models that competitors have used in the past.” This is the law they three found from TikTok. It also applies to most who want to balance user needs and commercialization, and inProducts that go further in the competition.The following is an excerpt from their interview with 36 氪: (Answered by a joint email from Pas Detroit, Aditya Agash, Neil Mehta, hereinafter referred to as the author of “Slide Unlock”) Good product experienceNot adapting to the market, it is also a kind of user harm. 36: The book emphasizes the combination of products and markets.What do you think are the similarities and differences between products that fit the market and “perfect products”?”Slide to unlock” Author: For us, quality products can achieve users’ goals, while reducing the potential harm to the user.For example, a good flight search product can help users find the most convenient and cheapest flight, while minimizing the risk of missed flights or delays.In other words, we think user experience is primary.However, many products with good user experience are not suitable for the market.For example, many free products are very useful, but because they are free, they usually cannot make enough money to survive.But if a product with a good user experience fails, it is also very inconvenient for the user.Therefore, good products need to adapt to the market.BlackBerry is an interesting example.One of the many reasons why the product failed is that it lags behind changing user needs-it doesn’t provide the app store and entertainment features users want in their smartphones, which is how “good” and “adapt to the market” relateanother example.Similarly, it is difficult to say that a product is “perfect” because everyone has their own standards.But we can say that products with good user experience and sustainable business models are usually better.That’s why, when deciding what product to use, in addition to the feature list, users also consider other businesses of the brand.36 氪: What are the requirements of relevant developers for the smooth experience of products and the matching of commercialization requirements?”Slide to unlock” Author: a good product developers should do two things – Early positioning and slow release.He should develop a simple prototype (Silicon Valley calls it the “MVP” model) and test it against a target audience.And he should learn from it quickly to improve the design and user experience, and then release the product.That’s why the small “closed beta” is so valuable-it allows developers to quickly get feedback and improve the product before it is officially released.We believe that revenue should be considered at the beginning of a product’s useful life.Globally, consumers have seen exciting free products shut down within a few years, and now they are skeptical of products that have not yet fleshed out their business models.A well-known example in the United States is the email application Mailbox that was released a few years ago.It is powerful and completely free.But shortly after Dropbox purchased it, it was killed.Since then, many Americans have become skeptical of free email customers as they realize that these products are likely to be killed soon.Developers must also seriously consider the value proposition of the product when starting commercialization.We’ve seen many products use popular new technologies, but they don’t provide clear value to users.These products rarely take off, and real-world use cases must be considered before considering technology.TikTok is an incredible product 36 氪: Which Internet product do you like the most in China?Does this product meet the dual requirements of user experience and commercialization?”Slide to unlock” Author: TikTok is an incredible product, it is fun and easy to use, and has been successful, because it is like few other social media as understanding human nature.First, humans are visual creatures.We like videos over photos, we like photos over text.But for a long time, technology has limited us to media with poor visual effects.The first generation of social media (such as Twitter in the early 2000s) focused on text because phone cameras and data connections were not powerful enough.Then as cameras and data became more powerful, photo-centric social networks such as Snapchat appeared in the early 2010s.But now, mobile phone cameras have become very good, mobile data has become almost unlimited, and videos can really shine, and TikTok takes full advantage of this.Second, people often don’t know what they want.They are often surprised by exciting new things they thought they didn’t want.In most social media, content is provided by everyone who follows, but this means that users must determine what they like and can only see content similar to what they previously liked.TikTok’s genius is that it determines what users will see in a random stream of information, which makes it easier for users to be surprised and discover their new interests.And these insights are not limited to TikTok. We believe that the key to the product is to understand human psychology, rather than blindly follow the models used by competitors in the past.36 氪: What do you think of its commercialization attempts?”Slide to unlock” Author: In our view, TikTok apart is that it makes the ad more interesting (and perhaps nearly as interesting non-advertising content).TikTok’s advertisers can create interactive polls or so-called “tag challenges”, inviting TikTok users to participate and shoot videos that fit specific topics.For example, if you want to promote a movie about wizards, you can invite users to participate in videos about their best magic tricks.Exciting and interesting video creation is a win-win situation: advertisers get more engagement than boring static ads, users can see more interesting content and expand their video production skills, and TikTok can get advertising costs at the same time, as well as fromMore excitement for users.In other words, advertising is often seen as a win-win for apps and advertisers, and a consumer loss, but with TikTok, everyone will benefit from it.36 氪: What about small and beautiful products?Is it possible for a product to stay small and beautiful without invading the giants?What is the survival code for this type of product?”Slide to unlock” Author: KaiOS is an interesting example.Instead of trying to compete directly with other major systems, it is trying to break the main assumptions and establish cooperative relationships with other ecosystems to open up its own market segments.KaiOS targets phones that are even cheaper than the lowest-end Android phones.It ignores some of Android’s assumptions. Android assumes a touch screen, but KaiOS works well without a touch screen.Android assumes that the phone must be powerful enough to run multiple applications at once, but KaiOS does not meet this requirement.By breaking these assumptions, KaiOS runs on phones that are simpler and cheaper than Android.KaiOS lives in a market segment, and Android can only meet this demand if it hurts the experience in the high-end market.At the same time, if KaiOS tries to add special features that Android is missing, Android can copy them and kill KaiOS.In other words, functional competition is a failed claim.It’s a better strategy to compete on assumptions and break assumptions that the giants cherish.Once KaiOS convinced Google that companies were competing for different markets, KaiOS partnered with Google to create special versions of Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Assistant for KaiOS.This means that KaiOS does not need to build its own version for all of these applications, but can focus on building a great core OS.KaiOS provides a good model for how small products can survive: find a place where giants can never walk, and then work with them instead of making them enemies.The most important skill of a product manager is creativity. 36: From the product manager’s perspective, how do you avoid or reduce user opposition when the product shifts to a paid subscription?”Slide to unlock” Author: a clear technique is displayed to the user subscription model is actually a cost savings than the “one-time purchase” model.To this end, the product manager must prove that even if the user makes a “one-time purchase,” they will continue to purchase and upgrade new content.For example, when Microsoft announced Office 365, many users were frustrated because they had to pay for the product forever.But Microsoft reminds users that even if they purchase a non-subscribed Office, they still have to buy a new version of the software every two or three years (for example, from Office 2013 to Office 2016).Microsoft has proven that Office 365 is 3 years cheaper than buying a new non-subscription version.Many product managers mistakenly believe that once they convince someone to join a subscription service, they will continue to pay a permanent fee.But now, many people in the United States pay a dozen subscriptions per month, and they want to reduce costs.As a result, product managers need to constantly remind users that their products are worth regular payments.Amazon is very good at this: every time a member buys an item on Amazon, the company reminds Amazon Prime members of the added benefits of subscriptions.36 氪: Some people think that the product manager is the closest job to the CEO.What do you think of this evaluation?”Slide to unlock” Author: Product Manager role is indeed very close to the CEO role, because these two roles require people to understand the user, consider ways to provide them with services and the leadership team to build these solutions.Product managers’ soft skills, especially leadership skills, are one of their most unique strengths when starting a business.Few other roles can teach you how to build a comprehensive team, motivate employees, and help the team work together.However, product managers of startup companies often don’t know how to turn their products into viable businesses.Building great products (what a product manager must do) and making money (what a CEO must do) don’t always overlap.Many products with cutting-edge technology and good user experience cannot make money.One example is the Amazon phone, which was a pretty good phone that failed because Amazon tried to over-price it.On the other hand, due to good sales, marketing, or business awareness, many poorly designed products still succeed.Some clumsy and ancient business software is a good example. Even if this is a bad product, but because the developers are skilled salespeople, they can still convince the company to pay for it.36 氪: What do you think is the most important ability of a product manager in the job?How can people exercise their “product thinking” in daily life?”Slide to unlock” Author: Product Manager creativity is the most important skill.The most successful products address user needs that no one had thought of before.Apple is proficient in this area, and before the advent of the Apple Watch and AirPods, no one knew they wanted a smartwatch or wireless earbuds.Take Asia as an example. Nintendo is extremely creative in finding new markets and user groups.Nintendo introduced the game to families when other console makers focused on competitive and hardcore gamers.Although games are traditionally divided into the handheld and console markets, Nintendo realizes that one product can serve both markets, which is one of the reasons why Switch has been so successful.To increase creativity, one of our favorite exercises is brainstorming new uses for everyday objects.For example, if you wait in line at a shoe store, you can try to consider 20 unusual uses for shoe boxes.This practice breaks the assumptions that limit true creativity, and other forms of art, such as painting and creative writing, can also break the limits of creativity.Regarding observation + If you want to communicate with the editor and sister of 36 上 “Observation +” and tens of thousands of friends, please add Weijun WeChat: hello36kr, join our community and learn to play together.If your company, industry is closely related to hot topics in the new business world and are looking for coverage, please contact us with a profile..