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.
This can be tricky! It will depend on a triangulation across a number of factors including:
1. The room to grow in your existing product (both in terms of TAM, the competitive dynamics and your current position in the market) -- this will help determine how much headroom you have to innovate on the existing product vs launch new ones. If you have some obvious "low hanging fruit" on the existing product it's usually a sign that there's more work to be done there before launching into new product lines (unless the competitive dynamics push you to do so).
2. The market demand: Most often the demand for a second product will come as a pull from the market vs a push from the company. Look for signs that your buyers are asking for a naturally adjacent solution or expressing a related unmet need that your sales team can't fulfill today. Look for signs that your users expect / are seeking an extension of your capabilities possibly by hacking together a solution themselves, using developers, or seeking solutions through asks to customer support. Look for signs that competitors are bundling a new offering or building partnerships in an adjacent space. These are tell tale signals that the unmet need is larger than you anticipated and the company needs to expand into a new product or service line.
3. The vision of the company and founders (and related funding): Product expansions are usually only possible if these align with the vision of the founding team. What is the business that they set out to build? How has that vision adapted over time? What do your investors expect you to build (a product, a service, a platform, a ...)? This is the less organic, less talked-about, side of product development that does impact how and when a company decides to innovate.
Before investing in engineering resources you want to build conviction around the following:
1. Is there a market need? Are you fulfilling a true gap in the market?
2. Do you have a differentiated vision to deliver on this need?
3. Is there willingness to pay?
4. Does the business model make sense such that you see a path to ROI for the business?
5. Is there a clear route to market (you know how to sell / acquire customers)?
6. Does your business have (or plan to have) the capabilities to deliver on this product (ex operational, technical or other expertise) such that it is strategic to expand in this direction?
Overall you want to be able to articulate what the investment unlocks for the company and how.
One way I like to prioritize problems is based on the level of risk these will pose to the final solution. Which are the riskiest assumptions or riskiest bets that will affect the success of your product? (Risk can be defined crudely in terms of Low, Medium, High or in some cases you might have a model with some sensitivity analysis built in). Regardless, if you can quantify the risk (and thus impact) of the problem to the final solution, you have a clear blueprint of where to begin.
A related method is to consider one-way vs two-way decisions. One way decisions are challenging or impossible to reverse - these have multiple downstream effects on the solution. Two way decisions can be reversed easily or adjusted over time once you have more data. I prefer to focus my time and energy on one way decisions first, as these will build the pillars of the product. If there is considerable time or effort spent by your team on a two way decision, you can make the argument to come back to this once you have more information or once all the one way decisions have been made.
Working remotely has impacted each individual and their team differently. For some it has boosted productivity and flexibility. For others, it has impacted morale and connection to the mission. I encourage each and every one of us to reflect deeply on what kind of work set up brings out our best selves: is it remote, hybrid, in-person? How do you want to collaborate and what gives you energy vs. what drains your energy: team offsites, async vs sync communication, time zone alignment?
There are now ample options for each of us to find the work set up to support how we work best. Ultimately our ability to deliver products will depend on our ability to thrive in the environment.