In the world today, it’s no longer efficient or effective for a Product Manager in any company to devote months of time, effort, and expense in designing and developing new products or new product features. The market moves faster than that, and even in traditionally slower markets like B2B customers are increasingly exposed to the world of apps and SaaS solutions — which sets expectations for how technology as a whole works. These expectations bleed into the workplace, and workers who previously simply accepted technology as part of the drudgery of their jobs are increasingly vocal about solutions that no longer meet their needs. Combining those expectations with an open market where initial costs to launch products are constantly decreasing through the use of cloud solutions and free open-source technologies, and any company or Product Manager who sits on their laurels and continues to work in a business-as-usual world will find themselves significantly challenged as the market and their users change around them.
Fortunately, there are many approaches that even an old-school Product Manager can adopt to increase their throughput on validating new ideas, testing new solutions, and generally ensuring that they’re being proactive in their market approach and not simply reactive to the changes happening around them. The key component of any such approach is to accept uncertainty, and to test your ideas, problems, and solutions as quickly, cheaply, and often as possible — with the understanding that many of these ideas might fail. However, without testing new ideas, you’ll either invest too much time, money, and effort into the wrong things…or you’ll never bring those challenging and inventive ideas to market, since you’ll never have the data to convince those who are unsure of the direction you wish to pursue.
Thus, your focus should be on failing fast, failing cheap, and failing often.