What Makes a Good Tech Product?

If you are like me and love developing things, whether being websites, or mobile apps; or even using apps what others created such as Facebook, SnapChat, Tinder and the rest; what is it about these apps and websites that make them so popular? Earlier in the year, I came across a Business Insider article about a presentation at the Launch Conference in San Francisco about LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner and his 5 tips that make a world-class tech product so successful. After reading his tips, and reflecting on the products I have created and their success rate, let me just say this: “If you are thinking of building a new tech product, ensure it meets these 5 criteria’s.

1) Great Products Deliver A Singular Value Proposition

That is, your product focuses on one thing, and one thing only, and does it exceptionally. Let’s look at these examples:

  • Facebook: Allows you to communicate with friends (and in my opinion, did so a lot better than MySpace)
  • SnapChat: Send photo’s that are only visible for 10 seconds (well I don’t have to mention why this is so popular)
  • Tinder: Find people to date who are near you (who wanted to pay $50 per month for a professional dating service when people may be just looking for a casual hookup or to meet new friends)
  • Google: Find the information you need (I think the results are a lot more accurate than it’s competitors)
  • Sadly Unfriended: See who has unfriended you on Facebook (that’s all it does, nothing else, and it just simply works)

2) They Anticipate A Customer’s Needs

Successful tech products are popular because there wasn’t a product that could currently meet a customers requirements. Look at all the blogs you read on the internet. Why do you subscribe to them and read them? Because they know you have an interest in the topic, and they know you are gaining something from them. Why is Sadly Unfriended so successful? Because so many people want and need to know when they get unfriended.

3) They Exceed Expectations

Not only do they solve an issue and know what you want, they do it in a way that is better than you thought it would be. Look at a Raspberry Pi. A small, affordable device that you can do so much with. You can build arcade machines, turn your TV into a smart TV, build robotics, create a file server, create a drone, create a weather station, and even automate your home. All from a device that costs less than half a tank of fuel.

4) They Resonate Emotionally

Any tech product needs to live close to the heart. They need to make you feel good, and that is what the sites I have listed do. You can find love, you can communicate to those close to you, they affect your live in a meaningful way. When Sadly Unfriended users get an email, their heart is pounding because they have have no idea why someone would be unfriending them.

5) They Have A Meaningful Impact On Your Life

How would you life be different if Facebook, Microsoft, Apple or Google not exist? Would you act any different if you found out your best friend deactivated their Facebook account if you know they are going through a rough time? You’d step in an see what’s going on and help them. Imagine if Google didn’t exist, knowledge wouldn’t be shared and easily accessible as it is today.

What is your idea of a world-class tech product?

Take a look around with the technology that you use on a daily basis. I bet that each tech product that you currently use provides you with a value proposition, it anticipates your needs, it exceeds your exception, it resonates emotionally and it has a meaningful impact on your life. If it doesn’t I’d be eager to find out why and what the product is.

But from now on, every new app idea I have, I will be running it past this checklist first.

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