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A Summary of

How to make product improvements to existing products

by
Des Traynor
Intercom
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Following the Kaizen philosophy of continuous improvement, companies make meaningful product changes to increase their customer base or frequency of usage.  - Start-ups have advantage over incumbents in speed and agility to introduce improvements

Adding new features

  • Expand scope of product, generate buzz, attract new or non-customers
  • May be risky: only explore ventures valued by customers, like speed

Improving existing features

  • Deliberate improvements
    • Add significant value to feature that customers will appreciate
  • Frequency improvements
    • Generate more usage for a feature used infrequently
  • Adoption improvements
    • Targets features currently not adopted by a portion of customer base

Example: Intercom

The software company implemented a new type of messaging notifications (adoption improvement), a re-design of message results view (deliberate), and scaled filters for queries (frequency).

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