We at AppBuddy have chosen to devote our time (and since we're a startup, that's a lot of time) to producing great apps that make business users happy and more productive. Things have been wildly successful! We've identified a burning business problem, we have an effective app to solve that problem, and our customers love using it (read our reviews). What's more is we love our app too, and we love working on it.
So we thought we'd start our blog series by sharing a few tips we've learned for how to make an awesome product. We're going to do this a little bit differently though -- we're going to talk about intent. There are some great resources out there that talk about the tactics for making a successful software product. If the right intent is guiding you along as you employ those tactics, we think you'll be bound for happiness and success. So here goes!
1. Impeccability: Always Strive to Improve Your Work
It's not enough to have team members who are highly skilled and smart. It's important to recognize that everything is always changing -- technologies, the market, your customers, your competitors and your team members. All our team members have one thing in common: we come to work with the humility to understand that we don't know everything, yet we are never content to settle for what we do know. We keep digging, and don't let a little opposition get in the way of tackling a problem. Like they say in the movie Galaxy Quest, "Never give up, never surrender!"
The drive to improve ourselves and our work comes from seeing that working impeccably makes us better people. Overcoming opposition teaches us something unique about ourselves because we are forced to push beyond our comfort zone. So really, our work is a path of self-discovery, and this is one reason why we set big goals for our product and strive to live up to them.
2. Selflessness: Work for the Benefit of Others
All successful products thrive because they are doing something their customers or users benefit from. To find this, you truly need to feel the pain of the customers you want to serve. If your response to this pain is a genuine desire to make sure that nobody ever feels that pain again, then we think a brilliant product idea is only a step away.
Once you release your product to the world, it's essential to nourish an active dialog with your customers to see how you can help them more and serve them better. Serving others is at the core of everything we do at AppBuddy. We make our customer relationships and supporting customers' needs fundamental to every process we have, especially product development. Most of the features we've released in our product are a result of user and customer feedback. We consciously remind ourselves that the user's voice is the most important in all of our product discussions, and we’re passionate about enabling our customers' success.
When you combine impeccable work with a genuine concern and active advocacy for your customers, you magically develop a vision of where to take your product. This vision is essential to accurately seeing ahead of where you are now; it even gets you to anticipate where your customers need you to go before they ask.
3. Love: Really Love Your Product
If you are excited about something, others will be excited about it too. If you really love a product (how many people out there love their iPhone?!), then this love is catchy. The same goes for the products we build. If you look at what you do, and find you really love the process of making it and really love the outcome, then it will be something that is felt by everyone who uses it.
Even if you don't believe the effects that such a positive attitude can have on others, loving your work and loving your product is just such a happier way to go. The key to happiness in work is to lose yourself in it. By "losing" yourself, we mean working with a high degree of efficiency and little thought -- similar to what amazing athletes experience when they get into the "zone". This is a place where true creativity happens, where barriers are broken down and you become one with the thing you create. Where you’re in the “zone” it feels fantastic and the product that comes out of it is truly the best.
So these are the key ingredients we’ve found: endless self-discovery, making people happy through the work you do every day, and feeling jazzed about doing what you do. This is the core intent behind everything our team does, and we hope it's something your team will discover and have fun with as well.