For tech founders in the early stages of start-up mode, your initial hires to your team are crucial for the company’s development. Your founding hires will be the foundation of your product/company.
Some people tend to go straight into the build of a product, recruiting engineers as their first hire with the aim of launching quickly. Although engineers are important to any company, their focus tends to be on the technical function of a product, rather than understanding the customer.
That’s where product designers come into play.
So why should you be hiring product designers first? Well there are a number of reasons that will help your company but our top 3 reasons are:
- Ensure there is a product market fit
- Build a customer focused product
- Stay ahead of your competition
Let’s dive in and unpack this some more.
Ensure there is product market fit
Anyone can have an idea for a product but building one that is fit for market is a different ball game. With so many products already available to customers and more entering the market each day, it’s important to create something that solves your customer’s problems.
Product designers are able to take teams through the whole process of building a product, starting with understanding the market itself. They’ll initially ask key questions such as; “Is there a need for the product?”, “Who are the current competitors?”, “How does your product differentiate from others and answer the target audience needs?”
Essentially they are the gatekeepers to making sure you build a product fit for the market.
Build a customer focused product
Through the use of different tools, they create solutions for their target audience ensuring that the product is fit for purpose.
Product designers are problem solvers, with their role covering everything from:
- User Experience (UX)
- Customer Experience Architect
- User Interface
- Information Architect
As you can see from the areas they specialise in, everything they do is extremely customer focused to ensure they build a useable product.
With this in mind, when hiring a PD at the beginning of your journey, they can spearhead the development for the customer including market research to help identify pain points and build solutions for this.
They’ll not only build a product that drives customer acquisition but also helps with customer retention, as their job is to build every touchpoint of the customer journey that will keep the customer coming back year on year.
Stay ahead of the competition
If you really want to stay ahead of your competition, then you need to understand your customers and you need to know them well. With the market flooded with so many products, customers have a lot of choice when it comes to picking a product, so you want to make yours stand out from the crowd.
This is exactly what product designers do.
Product designers do much more than make your product look aesthetically pleasing, they make sure your product will be successful by ensuring that everything you do is focused around the customer.
By including a PD as your first hire, you’re sure to be setting yourself up for long-term success and not just a one hit wonder.
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