"Why Iteration is not Innovation"

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The Product Clarity Spectrum

We have a mantra here at ENO8 — clarity is the antidote to risk. Especially when it comes to digital product innovation and software development, the more clarity you have around what you’re trying to build, the less risk you incur. That’s why we developed a “product clarity spectrum” to help founders or product owners achieve clarity and drive down risk for what they want to build. Check it out 👇

Risk vs. Clarity

Now let me be very clear — you cannot eliminate risk. It’s part and parcel of developing any new product or feature. But one of the biggest mistakes we see time and again are companies or product teams starting their development wayyyyy too soon. They have little clarity, and really aren’t ready to jump into a development project. And when they do, costs skyrockets, features aren’t well thought out and the final product falls way short of expectations. So how do you limit that risk?

The Product Clarity Spectrum Explained

Picture this: on one side of a spectrum, you have a vague idea… a nebulous cloud of features and ambitions. Perhaps you have a list of requirements or a few overview slides. But as it stands, it’s mostly just discussions, chats, and brainstorming sessions. On this end of the spectrum, your risk of miscommunication, misdirection, and project pitfalls is high. You might approach development studios with your idea and get wildly varying price quotes – from $50,000 to an eye-watering $3 million!

But on the other side of the spectrum, clarity is king. Here, risks are reduced. The road to innovation becomes less bumpy. So, how do you transition?

Deep Dive Before Diving Deep

Innovation isn’t just about building something; it’s about building the right thing. And to do that, clarity is pivotal. Here are the primary areas you need to achieve clarity on before you start any development project:

  1. User Personas: Before you even think about features, ask yourself – who is this software for? Delve deep into user personas. Understand not just their functional needs but their desires and preferences. In today’s fiercely competitive digital space, it’s not enough for users to just use your product — they should love it.
  2. User Journey: Visualize the entire interaction users will have with your product. This not only ensures a delightful user experience but also identifies potential bottlenecks and pain points.
  3. Feature Validation: The last thing you want is bloated software filled with unnecessary features. Create a comprehensive list, prioritize them, and be prepared to revisit this list often. The key is to launch with a minimum lovable product that resonates, then iterate based on feedback.
  4. Detailed Architecture Plan: This isn’t just about choosing a tech stack. It’s about understanding the growth trajectory of your product and ensuring that it’s scalable. Ensure that the architecture you choose today doesn’t become a bottleneck tomorrow.
  5. Design Prototypes: Think of it as the blueprint of your digital product. It aligns everyone involved, from developers to stakeholders, ensuring you’re all on the same page.
  6. Detailed Build-Out Plan: This plan helps you get realistic estimates of time, cost, and resources. It’s an invaluable asset if you’re pitching to investors or seeking budget approvals.

The bottom line

Your position on the Product Clarity Spectrum is a barometer of your project’s risk. The clearer you are, the smoother your software development journey will be. Whether you’re seeking external help or doing it in-house, always ask yourself: “Where am I on this spectrum?”

At ENO8, our mission is to help you inch closer to absolute clarity. Let’s reduce risks, build exceptional products, and embrace the digital future, together. If you want to talk about how to push your product or company toward clarity, give us a shout — we’d love to talk shop.


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Jeff Francis

Jeff Francis is a veteran entrepreneur and founder of Dallas-based digital product studio ENO8. Jeff founded ENO8 to empower companies of all sizes to design, develop and deliver innovative, impactful digital products. With more than 18 years working with early-stage startups, Jeff has a passion for creating and growing new businesses from the ground up, and has honed a unique ability to assist companies with aligning their technology product initiatives with real business outcomes.

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