Evaluating New Product Ideas

One of the on-going challenges in a startup is evaluating new product ideas. As the product achieves product/market fit and the customer base grows rapidly, more new product ideas come in from customers, prospects, partners, and all internal teams (sales, support, success, strategy, etc.). Here are a few ideas for evaluating new product ideas:

  • Overall Strategy – How does the new product idea fit in with the overall strategy? Is it consistent with the current direction or offer a different direction?
  • Existing Customer Base – Does the new product idea help 80% of the existing customers? If not 80%, then what percentage will find value from it?
  • Desired Customers – Does the new product idea help 80% of the desired customers going forward? How does the existing customer base differ from the desired customer profile (startups often go up-market over time)?
  • Request Quantity – How often has this idea come up? How many “votes” does it have from customers?
  • Backlog Priority – Where might this new idea fit in with the backlog? How would it be prioritized?

New product ideas never stop. Entrepreneurs would do well to create a process to store, evaluate, and process new product ideas.

What else? What are some more thoughts on evaluating new product ideas?

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