By failing to plan, you are planning to fail

Products lie on assumptions which must be true for the product to succeed. This is the first step for building a great product.

Let’s imagine the mobile charity app. Users create events, people pay to join those events, all proceeds go towards the charity selected by the event owner.

Look at any successful product, reverse-engineer assumptions.

For the charity app, they may look like this: People…

  1. Love doing activities with new unknown people
  2. Are aware of charities and are ready to donate
  3. Are ready to raise for a selected charity
  4. Are confident to create their own events

The next step is to each week mark each assumption as True or False.

Do it for the whole customer population or per each segment (for example, teens vs. adults).

For example, 3rd assumption may be invalid for teens segment, valid for adults.

Detailed, comprehensive product’s assumption list with every one marked as True consistently as you work on the product is a first stepping stone for the product success.

In case one has huge assumptions list, create a dependency tree where the parent assumption has children. If all children are True, parent automatically flips True. On the top level, you’ll end up with 3–5 root assumptions.