Build Digital Products

Software that Drives Business Outcomes.

Software that Users Love. Accelerated

Software product development is hard. To be successful, companies must successfully connect the dots between business objectives, user's needs, and modern technology. That's what we deliver with our Product Development Service.

Our services can help you through the software life-cycle, from idea to launch. Whether you're building new software product or modernizing legacy applications, Maticsworks can help.

Some still see product development as a process that can simply be reduced to gathering requirements and then handing it over to IT departments or software engineers.

However, product development is a more dynamic and interdisciplinary process requiring more than just technical execution. For those looking how to create a product from scratch, this guide presents steps that organizations and startups should take to boost their chances of building successful digital products and services. To help contextualize this, we'll also identify the most common challenges in product development and the benefits of adopting product-oriented processes in developing a product from scratch.

Most common challenges in creating a new digital product

No company, inventor, or startup founder intends for their product to fail and yet 95% of new products do. Before going into the strategic steps that organizations must take in building a novel digital product, it's vital to recognize the recurring barriers in the product development process. Here are the most common challenges that startups and enterprises face in developing a product from scratch.

Achieving Product-Market fit

In a survey among startups that closed down, 34% attributed their failure to lack of product-market fit and another 22% to marketing-related problems. This means that a majority of startups that fail admit to not investing sufficient effort understanding their customers.

Often times, this is rooted in a promising idea but the product’s market viability is not studied enough. Organizations can be tempted into jumping into product design and development without the proper discoveries, user research, market research, and other analytical processes.

Founders and managers can sometimes be biased with their assumptions and reasoning, which deters them from asking the right questions. Not validating your ideas increases the likelihood of product failure.

This challenge manifests in many different forms but typically reveals itself later than product teams would like. It could be about mismatch with target customers, mistakes in product pricing, poor messaging and branding, or market size smaller than initially estimated.

There are products that don’t solve any problem at all, or the problem doesn’t actually exist, or the number of customers affected by the problem is not sufficient enough to make a business from it.

In the guide below, we’ll talk more about how performing a discovery and validating a product idea, while not a guarantee of success, can lead to an effective product launch, acquisition of early users, product-market fit, and a scalable business.

Building the right team

The first challenge in building a product team is defining the key roles based on the scope of the product development process. It goes without saying that picking the right product manager or lead is of paramount importance. It’s been reported that a fully optimized product manager can increase profits by 34.2% (280 Group).

New digital products typically require personnel for business analysis, design, technology, marketing, and project management. The ideal team composition during product research, discovery, and validation include a product manager, UX researcher, technology-specific engineer, growth hacker, and other relevant subject matter experts.

Startups and smaller organizations find this challenge even more difficult as some personnel may have to double-up on responsibilities and learn new product development skill sets.

Businesses will also have to consider if certain team members may have to be sourced externally such as engaging individual contractors or agencies. Companies don’t have to individually hire team members on their own as agencies such as Netguru can provide the experts in building products from scratch.

In our projects, during the ideation and discovery phase, we assign innovation or discovery consultants and product managers to help you to build the right product.

Managing execution issues

Assuming that a product team has done their analytical work and has come up with a validated product idea, they should expect plenty of bumps in the road when it comes to managing workflows, engineering the product, engaging internal and external stakeholders, executing the business strategy, and complying with regulations, among many others.

A key benefit of being product-oriented in your approach is that it allows for incremental and rapid reviews of the product. Problems will always come up in product development, but what matters is that there are mechanisms that surface and address these issues at the soonest possible time before problems snowball.

For instance, we at Netguru, when possible, suggest developing products in a dual-track agile framework, where product teams conduct discovery and development simultaneously and iteratively.

Meeting time-to-market

A product team’s ability to meet launch timelines and respond to market movements can determine the product’s market positioning. In fact, 50.8% of product managers say that lack of time is a continuing challenge for them and 39% of product management and marketing professionals are worried about missing launch dates.

Product development, especially creating them from scratch, is far from a straightforward process. There can be a certain level of tolerance for missing deadlines, particularly on obstacles related to unforeseeable circumstances, hiring delays, legacy systems, and compliance issues.

While product or project managers may have little control over some delays, they are ultimately expected to fine-tune operations so that critical milestones are delivered according to their team’s established timeline.

Instead of looking and recruiting for internal talent, tapping the services of a digital agency can help shorten time-to-market — not to mention that this route can also be cheaper for organizations. With readily available experts skilled in conducting discovery, user research, prototyping, and many other product management tools, engaging agencies can speed up project delivery