6/17 | Ben Cole, Product Manager at Kickstarter, joins the Accelerator

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Today, Ben Cole joined our Fellows to share his expertise in experiences at Google, Facebook, and Kickstarter.

In his morning workshop, Ben workshopped through the critical questions teams should ask early in the product development stage. Teams worked with Ben to think about:

  • Product Market Fit (early on when you have an initial thought/working group)
    • Who is the product for?
      • User
      • Customer
    • What problem does it solve?
    • Why is this solution the best?
  • Value Proposition
    • What practical purpose does this serve? Pain points and negative emotions
    • What emotional purpose does this serve?
    • What makes this different from other products in this space?
    • What technical/UX insight will make this better than everything else in the market?
  • Demand Validation
    • How have we validated the demand for this?
    • Have we run a minimum viable experiment to validate our hypothesis?
    • Have we asked people how much they would pay for this (either in money, time, or social capital)?
  • User Acquisition
    • How are users going to find or hear about the product?
    • How are we going to get new users?
    • How can we target the right potential users (when it’s contextually relevant)

Later in the day, he gave a larger talk to the Fellows and EnterpriseWorks tenants about empathy in project management:

Empathy and the Art of Building Great Products

Description: Product creation and management are mission-critical for startups and established firms alike.  The emphasis is often on the science: sizing markets, modeling user flows, AB testing, and so on. But what about the human element? In this talk, Ben Cole will draw on experiences as a product manager at Kickstarter and Google as he discusses the role of empathy in building great products: empathy for your team, for your stakeholders, and for your users.