5 Channels to Discover New Product Ideas

Jayasri Nagrale
3 min readOct 22, 2020
Photo from Pexels

Why Ideate?

Ideas are your only currency.

For your product and business to stand out and dominate the market, continuous improvement, both in terms of features and experience help your company maintain your market share, in most cases; even increase it.

Product improvements or new features add more value to your existing customers and open the gates for new customers to sign up.

Ideating then can play a vital role in both your customers and business bottom lines.

How to Ideate?

The ability to generate ideas is like a muscle. The more you use it, the better you or your team get at it. Personally, I have a little notebook named ‘Ideas’ in which I try to come up with a new idea every day, well most of the days!

If this seems interesting to you, I highly recommend the book — Ideas are your only currency — this will help you do the same with interesting prompts.

5 Channels To Source New Product/Feature Ideas

These are some great tools & techniques that can immediately help your team get into an idea generation mode.

  1. Competition analysis

Competitive analysis is the process of identifying your competitors. Then evaluate their strategies to determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to your own business, product, and service.

This is a great way to find new feature ideas for an already existing product.

2. Customer complaints and feature requests

Are your customers complaining about missing features or things that are broken? Forums, product reviews, and any other means that your users communicate with you — are a great source of a low-hanging feature/improvement list.

If possible, have an in-product reporting mechanism wherein any user can easily reach out to you with feature requests and problems.

Addressing these complaints will not only make your product better but also establish trust among your customers.

3. Customers using other vendors for micro-services

This is applicable to large enterprise solutions. If you see a pattern of users moving to other vendors to fulfill a micro-service, it’s time you take a look at those services within your product and how you can get them up to par and even better than the competition.

An example of this could be something like this. As an enterprise, you are selling an Office suite. If you find that your users are using another vendor to ‘Compose’ a document and then import that into your tool — that is a clear sign that you need to pay attention to the ‘compose and edit’ features of your tool.

4. Brainstorming using Miro templates

There are a few great templates on Miro, an online collaboration tool; that is sure to spark creativity.

A few of my favorites are Crazy 8’s, How Might We’s (HMW), SCAMPER, and Brainwriting.

Leave a comment below if you’d like to read an in-depth tutorial for each of these processes.

Check out these and many other templates here.

5. In product analytics/insights

In-product analytics is a great source of information & inspiration. They provide insights into how your product is being used, where users are facing issues, and delight.

If you don’t already track data, it is highly suggested that you start right away! Few great tools to track & visualize events are Google analytics, Mixpanel, Smartlook, Hotjar.

Now, it’s your turn!

What are your favorite methods to generate ideas? Share them in the comments below.

If you’ve found this post useful, share it on LinkedIn! This helps more than you can imagine.

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Jayasri Nagrale

Lead AI Product Designer @ ServiceNow | Artist | Author | Podcast Host