How do you create a product people want to buy?

Amy Hoy has a video on her site Stacking The Bricks called How do you create a product people want to buy. Here are my notes summarizing the main points of the video, which captures a "solution first" approach to coming up with product ideas.

I find the "solution first" idea very compelling because it is the opposite of how we normally imagine products get made. Most of the time people expect to come up with the idea first, build it, and then try to sell it to people. Amy advocates doing it the other way around. Start with the people first, do research to figure out what they want, make it, and then show it to them. Working backwards means you make a thing that people actually want, rather than something you imagine people might want.

According to Amy, the key to this is research.

Here are my notes summarizing the video:

How do I make a product that I know will sell?

Find the answer to these questions:

  • Who am I serving?
  • What do they already need, want & buy?
  • How can I reach and persuade them?

The solution is research.

Doing research:

  • Better than "fail fast".
  • Better than "product-market fit".
  • Better than hoping & praying.

Audience -> "need", "want", "buy"

Ask yourself "who am I serving?" This is not a big deal. It doesn't really matter. Pick a customer you like.


  • Ruby dev
  • UX designer
  • Writer
  • Consultant
  • Sheep farmer

What does the audience need, want, and buy?

Be very very specific. Don't make something vague.

The intersection of need, want, and buy is where you should put your product.

Don't guess. Do research.


e.g. "ruby developers"

  1. Find out where Ruby developers hang out online.
  2. "Lurk with a purpose".
  3. Write down pain points, beliefs, worldviews, complaints, questions, struggles, products, desires.
  4. Do this a lot... 30, 40, 50 hours BEFORE you set out to create a product.

Once you have done this it should be obvious what to build.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

--Thomas Edison

Build it

This is the easy part.

Reach & persuade

  • Reach = go to the watering holes and share
  • Persuade = speaking to needs, desires, jargon, beliefs

You already know where the customer hangs out, and how they talk. Go back to their watering holes and use the same type of language they already use, to introduce the product to them.

Seek real data to answer the 3 questions

  1. How to do this systematically & repeatably?

Hope this was useful!

  1. 1

    I couldn't agree more , great post with lot of value. Thank you.

    1. 2

      Thanks for reading!

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