February 16, 2021

Expert First, Product Second: How to Build a Digital Product From Your Expertise

Developing digital products like software applications can be profitable endeavors, but are you an expert in the field of the digital product you are looking to create?

The phrase “don’t build something you don’t know anything about” sounds simple enough, but for entrepreneurs wanting to jump on the cutting edge of a technology or a trend, it can be easy to overlook it. Developers welcome excitement from clients who want to create new products. They just want to make sure that what they are building has been backed up by research and validated by real customers. How do you leverage your desire to create a new digital product with the experience you already have?

Let us introduce you to the power of ideation. Going beyond merely brainstorming to find a problem you are passionate about solving and a solution that will serve the needs of a valued group of people. Ideation is a powerful tool for new entrepreneurs – even more powerful with the help of an ideation coach who can help you walk through the process.

Don’t Invest Money Until You Have Done Research

One of the first mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a business is moving too fast. They buy a domain, build a website, and even hire employees before seeing if the product they want to develop is needed on the market. They might even ask a friend or a family member who has coding experience to work on the development – that normally tends to backfire in the long run.

Now, we aren’t talking about creating a small business with minimal collateral. If you are investing several thousands of dollars into your business then this article applies to you. The larger the product market the more research that needs to be done before you release it.

You can conduct your research by validating the product/market fit. It is an easy way to see if the product you want to make will fit on the market and be able to make a profit. You can follow the plan and find more tips for finding product/market fit in our latest article series.

Don’t Build a Product Without Being an Expert in the Field

Now this headline will make some people mad. How are you expected to be an expert in every trending industry? Well, of course, you aren’t. But for those on a limited budget and looking to make a profit early on, being an expert in the industry you are building in is important.

Let’s dive into this topic further. Say you go to a development agency asking for help creating an app to serve medical students looking for jobs. If you have never gone through the job search process post-medical school, how are you expected to know the features your app users need?

Of course, you could always research, but your app compared to one created by an expert would be lacking. Because you still most likely want to create a digital product or invest money, you could do so one of two ways. Find an expert to partner with or go through ideation coaching to find a product you can create in your area of expertise!

Partner With an Expert

Bringing in a partner to help guide the creation of your product can be a great decision. Another person to brainstorm and help with research can elevate your product to new levels. If you lack funds to get started, a partner can help alleviate the burden as they help share the startup costs.

Experts can also help guide your product if you are unfamiliar with the subject matter. Take our medical school job search app, for example. If your expert is a doctor who experienced trouble finding a job right out of school, they would be able to empathize with the problems that medical students face. Your entrepreneurial passion and their knowledge in the medical field could combine to form a valued partnership.

Begin the Process With Ideation Coaching

If you know that you are not an expert in the field you want to build in (or, you have already tried and failed) then we recommend ideation coaching. With coaching, you will review the areas of your expertise and find problems in them that need solving. Once you find the problem to solve, your coach will walk you through the process of finding a solution.

The key with ideation is to start small when finding a problem and solution. Get feedback from a group of potential customers, readjust your findings, and repeat the process. Every idea you have will start as one thing and evolve into something else over time, based on your growing knowledge of the problem itself and the behaviors of the people who experience this problem.

As someone who is already ingrained in the area of your potential product, you will have a better understanding of what your customers experience and how to market to them. You won’t have to handle the technical development of the product, but knowing these aspects can save you time and money that is critical for a new entrepreneur.

Here is a real-life example to help you see how ideation can help you. Last year Paul came to us with a goal: invest money into creating a virtual reality platform. Virtual reality is a trending area that is seeing a large rise in users, but the marketplace is already overrun by large developers like Microsoft and Google. While Paul could go ahead and try to compete with them, he would most likely not be successful because he does not have any prior experience in this field, or anything related.

Paul went through ideation coaching with our experts to try and find a better product to build. We found that he was highly skilled in other markets including construction and home renovation. With that in mind, we found a problem he could solve in that market and created a new application to revolutionize home remodel projects. Paul is passionate about the application and gets to use his expertise every step along the way.

Get Started Creating Your Own Product!

Just like Paul, your product can see success when you start small and back up your ideas with research. Your product can succeed if you are passionate about the work and you partner with an expert or complete ideation coaching.

Don’t build something you don’t know anything about…does that sound easier now? Take the first step and get started today!

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