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How to Develop a Product Strategy Your Competitors Will Love

There are actually some effective shortcuts to this process. Sure, these tricks might compromise the relevance and success of your product a little, but do you know what else they'll do? They'll get you home earlier each day. That's important, too, right? A product manager can not be effective at all if she's not well-rested.

First, let's quickly run through the common wisdom about what it takes to develop a product strategy. (That is, if you can call something that takes this much time and energy "wisdom." Ha!) Ask most product managers what the process requires, and they'll probably tell you that to develop a product strategy that works, you ' ll need to pinpoint some very specific use cases for your customer personas. You'll also need to support your strategy for addressing these use cases with data, which itself will require serious industry research and probably lots of number crunching and analysis of your own user data.

But here's a piece of data we found: According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimum health, happiness and productivity. And if you're spending day and night developing a product strategy the hard way, you're not going to get anywhere near that many hours.

Here we come up against a major fallacy in the common "wisdom" about what it takes to develop a product strategy. For reasons we'll never understand, product managers think they have to do all of this research and brainstorming and data analysis ... just to find out what a tiny sliver of customers actually want?

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