Copy
BUSINESS THINKING FOR DESIGNERS
Finding opportunities before problems find you
From the desks of Shreya Agarwal and Manivarma, Design

When any business launches a product, challenges crop up a dime a dozen. Not being able to scale beyond core customers or product offerings, grappling with low product adoption rates and avoiding competitor migration are quite common. But while solving a problem might restore normalcy, businesses thrive on opportunities and real growth comes from the timely discovery of it.

As product designers, we devote an enormous amount of time and research on problem-solving, whereas very little research concerns problem finding and even less on opportunity finding.

Before you can see an opportunity, you have to be looking for opportunity.

In the quest to uncover the area of 'where to play' next for your product, we recommend starting with a divergent, bird's eye view and then funnelling down to zero in on clarity in due time. While a detailed post will follow, the steps at a quick glance look a little like this:

  • 📊Data collection: Data is crucial, we know it. Understanding both the organisation and the outside world thoroughly is also crucial, we know it. Data collection that supports both these directions of inquiries (User problems, long term goals and regulations, competitor knowledge, direct differentiators et al) can help you credibly find out factors that will influence the organisation's future direction, decide on benchmarks, and identify what the product is and is not.
     
  • 🔍Sense making: Once you've taken a deep dive into the raw data, it makes sense to make sense of the data (see what we did there!) and find patterns, intersections or common themes. Now comes the time to shift the perspective and turn the uncovered problems into opportunity areas. Get your teams together, the whiteboard and post its out, even if virtual, and start brainstorming because a collective working session never hurt anyone. The end goal is to focus on every user pain point, every industry pattern and every how might we question, sort out all your ideas creatively, and finally identify the key opportunity areas.
     
  • 🏆Direct decisions: With a clear summary of the depth and breadth of all opportunities, you are uniquely equipped to then get the decision-makers on board, align with the business goals and narrow down on the most important opportunities that will drive the needed product outcomes. Think frameworks (AARRR is a great example), leverage all the evidence you've gathered and use storytelling skills to present a complete picture. 

Proactive opportunity finding can not only help innovate and grow one's user base, but also guide with a unified design direction and explore and solve problems beforehand. And consistently identifying the changing needs or market landscape is key. However, in the process of creating a roadmap that can drive outcomes for the future, this is only the first step. Keep yer eyes peeled for our detailed blog, but for now, all we will say is this: Great opportunities don't come everyday -- recognise and seize them with every chance you get.

PICK OUR AUTHORS' BRAINS

Reach out to our co-authors Shreya Agarwal and Manivarma to understand more about opportunity finding. 

 
   Chat with Shreya   
 
Chat with Manivarma
OBVIOUS CURATES
More perspectives from around us
Spotting innovation opportunities
Itonics
A snapshot into finding an opportunity space, solving innovator dilemmas, slightly edited copy of the document presented internally at Square that advocates the use of Kotlin for developing Android apps. 
READ IT HERE →


 
Uncovering service design opportunities: A checklist 
Medium
A deep dive into the five categories of service design opportunity: customer-facing improvement, process-based improvement, end-to-end improvement, future-facing improvement, and service innovation. 

READ IT HERE →



Business thinking for designers 
Design better
A free book by Apple and Electronic Arts design veteran Ryan Rumsey on the essential vocabulary and strategies to effectively communicate with your business partners, plus tools, tips, and frameworks that you can put right to work.

READ IT HERE →


Storytelling for designers
Obvious

Human beings are born with an inherent nature to tell stories. But why do we tell them? Why don’t we just show some information and leave it at that? Because stories are the only form of communication with the power to connect to another individual at an emotional level.
READ IT HERE →

IN OTHER NEWS
Updates from us 


Introducing Pause! 

The brainchild of Obvious X, Pause is a leave management and team planning tool for modern businesses. It makes stress-free planning and happy teams the new normal, in a world where hustling and adjusting are norms. We'd like to say Pause is magic. But that would undermine the thought that went into making Pause a no-brainer for small businesses and big successes. For the "what" of Pause, head over to our website. For the"why" and "how", stay tuned for a deep-dive into product decisions in the next newsletter!

CHECK IT OUT HERE →

WE'RE HIRING
Join the team

 OBVIOUS
Android Engineer

Leverage Android application development experience, own features, and work with existing systems to build empathetic digital products.

VIEW JOB POST→ 

OBVIOUS
Product Designer

Make sense of complex systems, turn ambiguity into opportunity, and bring ideas alive through design with a team that believes in compasses over maps. 

VIEW JOB POST→

Website
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram
Facebook
 
Read our previous newsletters: Overheard at Obvious archives

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences for how you receive these mails 
or unsubscribe from this list.

Copyright © 2020 Obvious Ventures Private Limited, All rights reserved.

You are receiving this email because you connected with us through our website, or came to one of our events.

Our mailing address is:
Obvious Ventures Private Limited
Level 2, K-Raheja Paramount
138, Residency Road
Bangalore 560025
India

Add us to your address book