When Product Visions Are Dead Ends
Why product vision statements usually lead teams nowhere, wasting time, money, and chances at better opportunities.
A product vision is supposed to excite, unite, focus purpose, and drive decision making, yet many product visions end up doing the opposite. Too often, teams create their own interpretations of a vague pronouncement, resulting in a vision about a product rather than a person with a problem that needs solving. In so many ways, product visions are blurry renditions of half-baked ideas that aren’t anchored in the current user journey, leading products nowhere fast.
Destinations without journeys
A quick search for ‘product vision’ yields results for simple templates and worksheets, all claiming to be the easy route to building your product vision. The hard truth? Creating a product vision that will anchor your entire development project in a source of truth, representing your users’ needs and project mission isn’t templatizable.
A great product vision is rooted in your end user’s current reality and the challenges they are facing. Without rooting your vision in a real, worthwhile problem, you will likely end up with some combination of the following consequences:
- Teams that chase the latest feature or request, regardless of its relevance to their target users’ dilemma
- Teams who are unable to make decisions about what should be built and when because it’s unclear what is needed to best contribute to their broad vision.
- A product without clear value, despite many shiny features; potential investors are unable to see the product’s potential, and prospective customers don’t ‘get it.’
Ultimately, a product vision that attempts to paint a picture of future results rather than rooting itself in current user problems will waste time, talent, and money. Moreover, teams who are already uninspired without a clear vision are only further discouraged by a project with poor results.
Strong product visions guide the journey
A product vision statement is not a destination, it’s the journey of understanding your users, empathizing with their problems, knowing your unique place in the world, and aligning on what value you’re committed to creating that will change their reality.
To create a vision that lasts, figure out who you are building for, and dig into their world.
A good product vision requires ideation, deliberation, iteration, and validation across an entire team. The collaborative nature of Gitwit’s product visioning ensures an understanding across many perspectives, builds clarity through structured ideation and debate, and results in focus and buy-in from the whole team. If created intentionally, the right 50 words can change an industry and, better yet, everyday lives.
Want to dive deeper?
If you’re ready to learn more about our methods for crafting a product vision to drive your next project forward, sign up to attend Volume 2 of our Forum Sessions Series: Creating Your Product Vision on June 28 from 3:45 - 5pm.
Whether you’re a seasoned product developer or just scratching the surface, you’ll walk away with a deep understanding of the role a strong product vision plays in making your project a success — as well as helpful exercises for drafting and fortifying your next product vision.