Thursday, September 15, 2011

Working Backwards

Did you knew that Amazon internally approaches a product from the consumers' perspective first and works their way backwards?  What does that mean? OK. They first write a press release of their product and then they grill down on each and every aspect of the product by asking questions and answering them.  That Q&A stuff gets built into what is known as FAQ section of their product.  Before even starting work on the actual product they have worked on press release, frequently asked questions, user manual, and customer experience. All the questions that people would ask and would be confused about are tackled internally first by the team.  This way they are on track to deliver the most engaging and simplistic consumer friendly products. 

Everyone should approach consumer products or service in a similar fashion.  Recently Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple and lots of comments were made online on various websites regarding his leadership.  He is and will always be a great leader.  But as this article on HBR nailed it down on how Apple works ridiculously hard to execute the perfect consumer experience which they have defined long ago before even working on the product.  Many forget about how much extra mile Apple to goes to deliver that consumer experience.  Apple believes in the philosophy that the more you compete inside the less you have to compete outside.

Lots of companies and even creative individuals have a tendency to get excited on any new idea.  I have been through this and been burnt a lot of times.  Companies get so excited they jump on building product as soon as they feel they came up with an idea of next iPad or Facebook killer and then try to push a product to consumers which they really don't need.  Apple can convince you that you need this product and that they have built it just for you.  Amazon and Apple have worked their way backwards.  They have shown resistance to get excited on new ideas and ship half baked products to market.  Instead they choose to wait until they built the perfect consumer experience.