Rather than asking if we’ve released the feature, we should be asking if we are getting closer to the outcome.

This means starting the conversation with an outcome, to begin with.

How’re we supposed to build something that drives an outcome if we don’t know what the outcome is? How’re we measuring it? How will we know when we’re done?

Once we have a goal post, we can begin exploring opportunities that will drive the outcome.

If my desired outcome is to improve onboarding, I want to know two things. First, what stops people from activating today? Second, what are my most successful customers doing that everyone else isn’t?

Start with an outcome, explore the opportunity space, now we can talk about solutions.

We must ask if a solution delivers on the opportunity in a way that drives our outcome? If we solve the problem, but it doesn’t improve activation, then we didn’t actually create any value for our business.

I have no idea if we’re going to improve our onboarding, but here are the opportunities that I see, and these are the solutions I’m exploring. Now everyone understands why we’re building this feature and what outcome it’s supposed to drive.


Full credit to @ttorres for this gem on product discovery. She talks about it in this wicked little talk from back in 2016.