3 tips to brainstorm about your ‘product of the future’

Everything goes at a breathtaking pace in today’s world: technologies come and go, products that seemed invincible yesterday, are just a memory today. The search for the ‘product of the future’ is keeping almost every high-tech entrepreneur awake at night. Of course, it is naive to think that you can just write ‘one-size-fits-all’ specifications to make each product future-proof; every product and every context is different. Here are three tips to use during the next brainstorming session about your product of the future.  

It may indeed be naive to think that you can just write ‘one-size-fits-all’ specifications to define how the products of the future will look, but we still think that there may be some general basic ideas to start from in brainstorms about the product of the future:  

  1. A product of the future will clearly provide added value for users by making smart use of technology to serve users.
  2. A product of the future is a connected product complemented with internet-based services.
  3. A product of the future will become smarter, better (more useful) and possibly more autonomous over time, both for users and for the manufacturers of the product.   

A product of the future will clearly provide added value for users by making smart use of technology to serve users
All too often so-called ‘smart’ products have a questionable ‘need’ to fill and make you wonder what problem these products are supposed to be solving. It’s not because a previously ‘dumb’ product can now suddenly be operated on a smartphone, that you provide real added value for users. Therefore, a product of the future will respond to concrete needs of users. Therefore, make sure to check out how technology can be used as a tool to make a product of the future even more awesome, but never consider this awesomeness to be the ultimate goal.  

A product of the future is a connected product that is complemented by online services
It seems to be quite safe to say that the product of the future is a connected product, which is somehow able to communicate and exchange information with others. These others are users, obviously, but can also be other products of the future, the manufacturer or just other users. The data which are exchanged will form the basis of additional services offered via an online/mobile model, either by the manufacturer of the product or by third parties. While the purchase of the actual product is often a one-off transaction, the additional services will allow the product builder to build a lasting relationship with customers, which will either or not result in new, recurring revenue streams.  

A product of the future will become smarter and better (more useful) over time, both for users and for the manufacturers of the product
A product of the future learns how it is used by individual users. It collects data, processes them and is therefore better able to adapt to the needs of the user. The product builder uses these analytics to control his own product management on the basis of the collected data. New and improved functionalities are, whenever possible, delivered to the users in a continuous flow of updates and upgrades which will ensure that the product of the future and the additional services linked to this product effectively become more valuable for users over time. This will obviously be done in all transparency and with due regard for the privacy and security of the user.  

Conclusion

The result of all this is that the development of the product of the future will become a complex, multidisciplinary matter: of course traditional product design will still be required, but also electronics, cloud architectures, software engineering, data science, with an impact on how the product is made and rolled out.  

Many of these competencies are available in-house at Sirris. We are looking forward to brainstorming with you about your product of the future!

(Source photo: www.dreamstime.com)

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