The timeless importance of product research and scholarship in building something big
Founder & CEO of Nexford, Fadl Al Tarzi, shares his knowledge of operating from the ideation to IPO with purpose and strategy
Those who impact their profession or imprint history hardly ever do so by accident. Rather, they operate from ideation to IPO with purpose and strategy. And the best way to operate purposefully and strategically? By conducting product research, heeding feedback, and defining what exactly you want your end product to look like.
That research will inform how you construct the ideological foundation of your business or project, and lending credence to customer and user feedback will ensure you’re making necessary adjustments along the way.
Building a Company with Product Research
At the initial stages of company building, you have at your disposal a diverse array of case studies with which to educate yourself.
And not always case studies in the literal sense, mind you (although you will, obviously, specifically test things like software applications), but the stories that produced the businesses or services you’re either fond of or look critically upon which you can draw parallels to––examples which you can seek to emulate or avoid.
Use Parallel Companies To Draw Inspiration
For instance, if you’re building a subscription business, try going through the acquisition funnel of a site you enjoy yourself and see what they do to make the experience seamless.
What about the UX, sign-up emails, and introductory processes work so well? And you can do this across industries. If you’re in FinTech, you need not limit yourself to studying Barclays. Rather, do a deep dive into the practices employed by Spotify, or Pleo.
Listen to Customers
To impact the world or your industry, you must remain flexible and listen to the people using your product or service. In building Nexford University, one of our core cultural tenants is placing value in the wisdom of our learners (we don’t call them students).
Consumers don’t always do what they say they’re going to do, but aggregate data and consumer habits do serve as critical indicators of whether you’re offering resonates.
Companies, teams, and creatives who understand this survive and, ultimately, thrive; those who don’t either stagnate or drown.
Fadl is Founder & CEO of Nexford University. His vision is to enable greater social and economic mobility through high-quality, affordable education.
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