This can hardly be called a book, rather a brochure or a training manual. Just nine pages.

The working title has changed several times, from different variations of “How to make a successful IT product” to some scathing appeals like “Sell first”. So far, I have settled on: “How to Make Products? 9 Questions to Yourself.”

The English and Russian versions are fully available online. Anyway nobody likes to pay for digital materials… If you really want you can give me a coffee or some beer 🙂 Thank you!

You can start with the table of contents or reading from the chapter one. Below every article you’ll find links to the following and previous chapters.

Any comments are welcome, especially with examples and explanations that can be added to the book because “there is little text for a book”, “more examples are needed”, “nobody understands small texts”, and so on.

If you’re wondering why this “set of notes” appeared online, here is a brief history of this “book”.

How it all began?

During one of my frequent visits to the city of Prague, I had a lot of free time. I regularly could not sleep before 2 am, so I decided to spend time more wisely: by recording thoughts.

I’ve made bunch of notes was born somehow connected to the creation of products. “Building of a product” is not about inventing or production of goods – this is pre-marketing research and all important stages bringing the product to the consumer.

Then I collected the notes in the Google Docs and showed to some of my friends. The reviews were rather “positive”, but everyone noted that “there is little text for the book”, “more examples would be necessary”, “what you understand does not mean that others will understand”, etc.

Since I am a fan of short and clear phrases, I decided to publish “notes” on the website with the possibility of discussion (blog). Maybe someone will give advice what to add and bring some examples in comments. Thank you.

What came out of it – see by yourself 🙂

Where to begin?

Creating a successful product is not a technical or organizational issue – it is always a business and sober calculation.

Need to start with the questions:

  • Why and who needs it?
  • Who and how much can pay for it?
  • What is my interest and how much money do I want to earn?

If even in optimistic forecasts your new “product” is not needed (no positioning), will not be able to pay off (too little demand), or you cannot get what you want (you can’t be 33% happy) – the result will be much worse. Your clear answers and preliminary calculations slightly contradict each other? Scrap the project and do not start anything at all!

It’s impossible to make a small cake in your kitchen and feed the whole city with it. One single factory can’t make Christmas decorations for the whole world, but even if it could, then delivering fragile products will break all deadlines and consume all the profits. So resolutely reject “hopeless ideas” and look for a demand for something else.

I repeat once again: Abandon everything that “doesn’t take off.” Right now!

Time is the most valuable resource, do not waste it. Read some books, go on a walk, look around. You will immediately find many other, more promising options.

It is better to calculate everything and quit than to spend years on a “dead end”.

What is the formula “1->10->100” ?

There is an old saying:

  • $1 to those who came up with.
  • $10 to the one who did.
  • $100 to those who sold.

From it follows a simple, but at the same time one of the most important, formulas in business:

  • 1*x1% – for the idea, methods, drawings.
  • 10*x9% – on the means of production, manufacturing, salaries.
  • 100*x90% – for packaging, packaging, logistics and actual sales.

Where *x is any number greater than one, depending on the appetites of business owners.

Note that this is a ratio, not an absolute number. Salespeople like to say that “an idea is worth nothing”. This is not always the case if the idea has a realization, and there is a demand for a product / service, then the “idea” costs at least 1/100 of the profit.

But do not fall into optimism™, overestimating the value of ideas. The “idea” that makes millions, is usually worked out with financial analysis, formulas and precise calculations, contains many pages of detailed documentation on how to produce, distribute, maintain “the results of an idea,” and much more.

Do not forget the main thing: No matter how much you spend on manufacturing of a product, its sales and distribution will require many times more money! Not necessarily 10 times, everything can be much worse…

  • We do not run around with ideas like a like a chicken with its head cut off.
  • We spend no more than 10% of time and money on manufacturing / production.
  • All the remaining time and effort we spend on sales and customer acquisition.