I haven't heard the phrase 0-1 products before and would love to learn more about it.
6 answers
All related (11)
Puja Hait
Product Leader, GoogleSeptember 1

I will share first two steps that I follow.

Step 1: Is this problem worth solving?

1.1 Problem definition and user segmentation

  • B2B product: A business customer must have a genuine painpoint that they are willing to pay for. Some problems are not big enough problems, hence not high priorirty for the business users, these are not worth pursuing. Fine tune the problems till they hit  
  • B>B>C: The business user/stakeholder may have rightly identified a problem but may not have the best ideas in terms of what solutions can work. Validate the problem is real with user research.
  • B2C: Similar to B>B>C, some segment of users have a need. Identify who they are and what the real problems are.

1.2 Is the Problem TAM big enough

Step 2: Why us? Why now?

2.1 Do competitive studies 

2.2 SWOT analysis 

2.3 Are you best positioned to build this and build now?

Brandon Green
Director of Product, Fulfillment, ezCater | Formerly Wayfair, Abstract, CustomMade, SonicbidsMarch 7

"0-1 product development" is the idea of building something from nothing. That is, you have an abstract customer or business problem you need to solve and no solution for it (0) and, as a PM, you need to figure out the first attempt at a solution (1) to address the problem. An example from my own career is Notebooks, a product I helped ship at Abstract - we had a meaningful number of customers abandoning our initial offering due to changes in the product design tooling landscape, and we needed to figure out what problems they still had that we could build a solution to address. After spending a good amount of time interviewing and researching the product landscape, we identified an unmet need (in that case, a way to centralize design decisions made in the product design process outside of the tool used for design, to easily communicate and ratify decisions among stakeholders). We built an MVP, validated it with customers in a controlled setting, and then iterated on that product until we felt it was ready for a public launch.

My first step in developing a 0-1 product actually isn't developing at all - it's understanding or framing the customer problem. Often the problem is given to a PM in some other way that isn't actually the problem at its core. In the case of Abstract Notebooks, we actually had a business problem (customers were leaving our service because they no longer had an unmet need) but we didn't have a good sense of what other unsolved problems they had. In that case - and I'm a proponent of this - we went out and talked to users to help get an understanding of what problems they still had in their product design processes. We talked to a number of different kinds of users - former Abstract customers, curent ones, those who had never heard of us before - and started to find common challenges amongst them. That allowed us to shift away from thinking about the internal business problem to something very focused on the user. It certainly took some time to wrap our heads around a clear, focused problem we could solve, and there are a number of tactics one can use to do this (design sprints are one I like) - but that first step of beginning to frame the user problem is what I always find a useful starting point.

Laura Oppenheimer
Lead Product Manager, Bubble | Formerly Quizlet, CheggJuly 20

Part of the fun of building something 0-1 is that you have a green field in front of you — you can build anything! (Or that's what we wish as PMS....)

As much fun as it would be to the world is your product oyster, constraints help provide focus and a direction. I see the first step is making sure that you and stakeholders are aligned on what a goal or success looks like. And usually, that comes in the form of a metric that you're trying to move. 

If you work for an ecommerce company, you'll make very different decisions around what to build if your metric is increasing ASP versus unlocking a new vertical or segment. If your metric was the former, you might start doing user research on customer willingness to pay, or what they're thinking about when they're in the check-out flow. And if it's the latter, you'd probably start with user research into people who aren't yet your customers. 

Without that first constraint — what metric do we want to move, what does success look like — there's no way to focus your research and problem defintion phase. Once you have that north star to work toward, you can enter user research with your specific goal in mind. 

Ravneet Uberoi
Founder & CEO, | Formerly Matterport, Box, McKinseyAugust 31

0 -1 product development refers to building a new product or service line from scratch (0) to bringing its first iteration into the hands of customers and users (1)

The first step to develop a 0-1 product is to deeply understand the market need. I look at this from the buyer perspective, the end user perspective, and the competitive landscape perspective. Unless you understand, what's needed, what exists, what's missing, and what will differentiate your solution and validate your need to exist, you cannot begin the next phase, which is product definition. 

Deepti Srivastava
Head of Product, VP, December 12

At a high level, a 0 --1 product offers a completely new solution or functionality to a user problem, often creating a new market category or sub-category within an existing large market.  

The top thing in developing a 0--1 product is validating that there is a real user need in the market that will be served/solved by this new product, and, that the need is big enough to build a viable business around it.

  • Identifying/defining the top user persona for the product – their motivations, goals, tooling needs, and pain points with existing solutions, if any
  • Defining the buyer persona (if different from the user) – motivations, incentives, goals for themselves and their teams, and pain points with existing solutions, if any
  • Understanding the market – what existing market segment or category would the new product fit in, the competitors, incumbents, market sizing and basic TAM (total addressable market) analysis to validate there is a big enough market (or potential market) to build a business
    • If creating a new market category with the product, it is still important to understand what is the closest market segment to the new category you want to create. It helps gauge the TAM for business development purposes as well as the closest competitors to the new product.


Lisa Dziuba
Head of Product Marketing, LottieFiles | Formerly WeLoveNoCode (made $3.6M ARR), Abstract, Flawless App (sold)August 11

Start by forming assumptions and making hypotheses around the desirability, feasibility, and viability of your new product. Then validate those assumptions, learn and iterate.

Desirability assumptions could be

  • Is the product addressing a problem that the customer is facing? Always look at how big the problem is in customers' lives and how much time, money, and headache it saves. What is at stake if the problem goes unsolved?
  • How frequent is the problem? Building a product for a one-time problem is risky. It's much better to evaluate the possible stickiness of the product and retention, listing what can get the product there.
  • Do customers actually need this problem to be solved? Will this solution be treated as a "vitamin" or a "painkiller," a "nice-to-have" or "must-have?" Some products address problems that are more pronounced than others, which naturally increases their desirability.

Feasibility assumptions could be

  • Technology. What kind of technology and professionals are required? Should the business hire a full-stack engineering team, or is it possible to start with a minimum viable product built with no code? Physical resources, licenses, or cloud services — are those critical for the product's success?
  • Budget and timing. How much funding and time will it take to bring the product to the market?
  • Partnerships and resources. What are the pieces that businesses need to align to make the product a success? Those are partnerships to leverage, GTM resources, and support from the compliance or legal sides.

Viability assumptions

  • What would be the core assumptions to have a profitable business model? Unscalable business models with unreasonable monetization will quickly hit a dead-end for the new product.
  • Market opportunity. How big is the market for the planned product? What is the value of the problem that the business is planning to solve and how much will potential customers be willing to pay? 
  • Revenue streams and channels. What are all the marketing channels to reach customers and what will be the monetization model? 
  • Cost structure and unit economics. Is the pricing attractive compared to direct and indirect competitors? Is the cost vs profit ratio indicating a profitable business? What could be acceptable CAC? Will the product have a free trial or freemium?

Based on my article at Entrepreneur.