After That, What?

Several years ago I was describing our product, InfoMinder to  a friend. I told him how cool it is, to have something that tracks websites, and alerts you when they change. He patiently listened to my pitch and asked a simple question:

After that, what?

I did not understand it, at first. I asked him to elaborate. He asked “what do your customers do after they get these alerts?”. Frankly, I had not thought of that. I knew what I would do, but I had no idea what our customers did.  Fortunately, it was easy to fix that problem. We just asked a bunch of them.

The moral of the story is that you need to think about what people do after they consume your product. You may be missing some opportunities for follow on products or providing a better solution.

Let me paint a few sample scenarios, for you.

  • You set up Google alerts. What do you do after you receive alert email?
  • You search for a company or topic and get a bunch of results from Google. What do you do, after that?
  • You locate an address using Google maps on your computer. What do you do next?
  • A friend texts you an address for a meeting. Now you have a smart phone with a good online map support. What do you do next?

The answer most of the time  is  – “it depends”.

I think there are some opportunities for some nifty tools to help the ‘after that, what’ problem. As we switch more and more to mobile devices to help us cope with our life, more such tools will be useful.

“After that what?’ is a good question to ask yourself, if you are looking for mobile product ideas. If you don’t want to do that, you can always ask me. I have a bunch of those problems.

3 thoughts on “After That, What?

  1. Interesting thought process, What next? has been nagging me for sometime. Last year sometime around this time of the year, I had a great idea, which I decided to go ahead and implement. An App that reads SMS from Debit/Credit Card providers and builds cool Analytics on top of it. I released this in Android as a free app and was fairly confident that this would be picked up by the Indian Mobile Users. I had a roadmap to IOS too. One year down the line, I have only 100+ customers. Here is the link to the app

    I believe I never went beyond the What next? I did ask myself when I released the App but decided to wait until I see some positive response. I did think that this was a GREAT idea as I did not find any similar App. I need to motivate myself to build the next and ask What next?.

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