May 26, 2002
Product Vision

Building a Blog: Part One

I've decided to develop some software to maintain simple blogs. The intention is to use this as an example project to explore the development process. Hopefully it will also result in some useful software, but that's not the main purpose.

The first step then, before the requirements, is to discover and state the product vision. Even though this is marketing speak, and so is immediately suspect, all that we're really after is a brief statement that you can use to explain the product to someone you meet in an elevator, the elevator pitch. The hope is that this will help keep development, and everyone else, pointed towards the correct target by offering a quick way to check whether any actions taken align with the vision or not.

The idea comes from Geoffrey Moore's "Crossing the Chasm", a very interesting, and heavily used book. It sets out how a company should transition from selling to the four or five early adopters that you can find for any software, to the early majority who will make your product successful. Between these lies the Chasm of the title into which many companies fall. Here's a review that explains the chasm in more detail.

Joel on Software has an explanation of one way to develop a Product Vision, by designing the box the product might be shipped in. I'm not going to go that far, just a simple paragraph will do.

So here's the initial cut at a product vision for MBlog. I'll have to refine this and I hope to improve the phrasing as the project moves along. For the moment thought it explains what I want to build.

Posted by Alex at May 26, 2002 07:06 PM
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