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For quite some time now we have been evaluating product ideas for our second software product. Over the last six months we had many brainstorming sessions, surfed hours and hours to evaluate product ideas and watched out for useful tools during our normal development activities. Finding the right product idea is very important for several reasons.

First, you want to succeed with the product and make money somehow. This means there must be a demand for the software product and preferable already a market. Second, you will work on this software for the next coming months/years and so it will have a direct impact on your motivation and work. The third and last point is that you should be really passionate about the product idea. If you lose interest in the product after some time, it will be hard to further develop and support it. Ideally it should be something you yourself need and would use every day.

When we started to look around for a new product idea, we had some general thoughts about what kind of product we wanted. The first criterion was that it should be targeted at developers/admins/techies in general. This makes it easier for us to develop because we know the market somewhat from SmartInspect and are techies ourselves. Unfortunately, software targeted at developers is harder to market in my opinion, because many developers have the ‘not-invented-here’ syndrome and are often skeptical about third-party libraries and software (rightfully so, I might add).

When we further thought about what kind of software we want to develop next, we thought about the marketing side of a software product. Currently, SmartInspect is a bit harder to market because it can be used by many different groups like Delphi, Java and .NET developers, testers, support engineers etc. For our next product, we wanted something which can be targeted at a quite specific group of potential customers.

Another criterion for the next product idea was that it must solve a very specific “pain”. Like SmartInspect helps you to find and fix bugs in your applications, the next product must solve a very specific problem.

So, did we find a new product idea? Yes we did. I actually had a simpler version of the planned program in use for quite some time. I developed it because I was tired of doing the same thing over and over again and to remove a pain I had with a third-party program. It is an add-on for a quite popular software application which makes it easier to market, gives it a relative narrow group of potential customers and hopefully solves the pain of many users. Stay tuned for more information on our next product and how we develop and market it.

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