Capn Design

Amazon's Approach to Product Development

A Quora user wonders and the head of Amazon’s gifting business answers. It shouldn’t be a surprise, but they start with the consumer and work backwards.

For new initiatives a product manager typically starts by writing an internal press release announcing the finished product. The target audience for the press release are the new/updated product’s customers, which can be retail customers or internal users of a tool or technology. Internal press releases are centered around the customer problem, how current solutions (internal or external) fail, and how the new product will blow away existing solutions.

In discussing this with a coworker, he brought up the issue that a customer may not actually ask for the thing they want. I agree, but what they ask for is always telling. If they say, “I want to see 3,000 items per page,” that doesn’t mean you give it to them, but it does mean your site is probably too slow. [via @irondavy]