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The Building Blocks of a Market
2 min read
Think of a car assembly line. All starts with an objective (the car). The assembly line has a start and a finish. Toward the finish, the car moves through assembly steps. For each of those steps, the factory employs metrics to minimize variance, optimize continuously, and ensure success. Markets share the same make-up.
To unveil the customer objective that our solution serves, we engage customers and ask, “In turning to our product (idea), what are you ultimately trying to get done?” Some example answers are:
- Meal delivery service: Prepare a meal for consumption.
- Crypto: Intermediate the storage and exchange of value over time.
- Quality Assurance: Test applications for reliability, usability, and accessibility.
Toward their objectives, customers move through a progression of steps. Take product teams testing applications for reliability, usability, and accessibility (these are estimates):
- Plan: Product teams got to do some planning and defining upfront to proceed.
- Locate: Product teams must gather certain inputs and tools to do the job.
- Prepare: Product teams prepare those inputs as well as their environment.
- Confirm: Product teams make certain verifications to ensure success.
- Execute: Product teams execute the job.
- Monitor: Product teams verify and track their execution to ensure success.
- Modify: Product teams make updates and adjustments toward success.
- Conclude: Product teams finish up (and breathe a sigh of relief).
Along each of those steps, product teams, consciously or unconsciously, employ success metrics. These metrics are the performance standards against which customers evaluate relevant solutions (in-house or external). You might know them under a different name: customer needs. Most often, these metrics relate to minimizing time or the likelihood of some occurrence. Here are some relevant examples (this is only a small fraction):
- Locate: Minimize the likelihood that test cases are missing.
- Prepare: Minimize the time to document all the test cases.
- Execute: Minimize the time to execute the tests.
- Monitor: Minimize the time to create the reports.
- Monitor: Minimize the likelihood that reports are non-descriptive.
- Modify: Minimize the time to resolve open issues.
That is the blueprint of a market. Let’s explore the individual components one by one. We continue by uncovering the customer objective.