Product Vision

A product vision is a powerful tool that drives innovation, motivates teams, and attracts talent. It represents a compelling future state that an organization aspires to create, typically within a 2 to 5-year timeframe. By effectively communicating the vision, organizations can ignite passion and commitment among stakeholders, inspiring them to work towards a shared goal. While the path to achieving the vision may evolve over time, maintaining belief in the pursuit and remaining flexible on the details is essential. Embracing a strong product vision enables organizations to navigate the ever-changing landscape of innovation and create a lasting impact on the world.

Josh Ether

8/3/20182 min read

In the world of product development, having a clear vision is essential for charting a successful course towards the future. A product vision serves as a compelling description of the world we aspire to create, typically within a timeframe of 2 to 5 years. For hardware or device-centric companies, this horizon may extend to 5 to 10 years.

  1. Painting a Picture of the Future: A product vision is not a specification document but rather a persuasive piece that paints a vivid picture of the future we aim to achieve. It transcends technical details and instead focuses on inspiring and captivating stakeholders, including teams, investors, and partners. Whether presented as a storyboard, a narrative white paper, or even a prototype known as a "visiontype," the primary objective is to communicate the vision and ignite a shared passion to bring it to life.

  2. Motivating and Recruiting Talent: An effective product vision serves as a powerful tool for recruiting top talent and motivating existing teams. Talented individuals are drawn to opportunities that offer a sense of purpose and meaning. By articulating a compelling vision, organizations can attract and retain passionate individuals who are eager to contribute their skills and expertise towards a larger goal. The product vision becomes a rallying point, aligning the team's efforts and driving their commitment and dedication.

  3. Leap of Faith and Flexibility: While a product vision inspires and guides the journey, it inherently involves a level of uncertainty. It may not be possible to predict precisely how or if the vision will be fully realized. However, the timeline of several years provides room for discovery and adaptation. It is essential to have faith in the pursuit of the vision and maintain a level of flexibility in the details. As Jeff Bezos famously stated, "be stubborn on the vision, and flexible on the details," acknowledging that the path may evolve as new information emerges.

  4. Validation and Worthwhile Pursuit: Validating the demand for the product vision is crucial but differs from the validation of specific solutions during product discovery. Buying into a vision requires a certain leap of faith, as the path to realizing it may not be fully known. However, at this stage, it is important to believe that the pursuit of the vision is worthwhile. The product vision should align with market needs, customer aspirations, and the organization's core values, creating a compelling reason to embark on the journey towards its realization.