Frequency X Intensity

A relevant note on building the future.

Yesterday I watched Michael Seibel’s lecture on how to build products and I think that it was fantastic. Although there are many takeaways, there are two points in particular that I want to add to the “Idea Development Criteria” and they are Frequency and Intensity.

By Frequency I mean are you solving a problem that people face regularly or only occassionally? The former is ideal because it means that you get a chance to build a habit-forming product and take advantage of potential network effects.

By Intensity I mean do people that have this problem suffer a lot if they cannot solve the problem or is it a problem that it would be nice to solve but not necessary? Again the former is ideal because it means that people will use your product even if it’s not perfect, as long as, it solves this very painful problem they had.

Here’s what the “Idea Development Criteria” checklist looks like with the inclusion of these two new ideas:

  1. Intensity: Do people suffer if they cannot solve this problem?
  2. Frequency: Does this product solve a problem that users face regularly or not?
  3. Demand: Are people banging on your door to use your product/service?
  4. Passion: Will I be willing to dedicate the next ten years of my life to this project?
  5. Network Effects: Does product have some form of network effect?
  6. Sticky: Does this product fit the “habit forming model”?
  7. Market: Could this product have a large TAM in the future? Why?
  8. Segment: Is this product in a new segment or is it a new take on an old one?
  9. Social Value: Will the world be a better place if this product existed? How?
  10. Craziness: Does the idea sound crazy enough or is it counterintuitive to most people?
  11. Trend: Does the product take advantage of a new consumer trend or platform shift?
  12. Monopolistic Profit: Can this company become a monopoly? If so, how?