How to create something people want


Wants are relative and you will find that in a world of 7.8 billion people, wants are highly dependent on an individual’s social status, economic background, exposure, education, temperament, tastes, time and place.  This further posits that an individual can want totally opposite things at each time of his life depending on the degree of the factors mentioned above. 

A want is a desire to possess something. Wants are the basis of economic activity and all economic activity is done to satisfy wants. Without these wants, the economy would not exist.  In fact, the term “wants” is the foundation for the study of economics/the economy. 

The desire to build something, a product, a business, is secondary to what people want. In this case, wants and needs are placed in one bracket. They represent desires and we often find that wants could be more powerful. They are the driving force of purchase. 

What do people want?

Generally, people want everything good. It is now your job to find out who your audience is and what kind of good you can serve. 

This above statement is pertinent as it is the basics of building a product, business, goods and services. Many times, after perceiving that there is a need in a particular industry or a gap, founders go ahead to create the product. However, it is not enough to have a need. 

A need is essential and while it is important to create a vital and exceptional product, it must be wanted. It has to be done in a way that the people always desire and cannot see themselves without it. 

For instance: Imagine an apple tastes really awful but it is very fundamental to the health of men. Men could buy the apple (as you would find some people who would not buy it) but dread the purchase because they do not want it. 

This means every need must be backed by a want for it to be a successful product. People want good, nice, enjoyable, easy, comfortable, elegant, and beautiful. 

Therefore, the first stage of building is understanding your market and what they want or would always prefer. 

Understanding your customers

It is very essential to study your customers. This is the continuous process of learning from them. Through this, you can capture the exact thing they want and desire that they might not really know. 

We find out that the most successful founders and business owners are those that constantly talk to their customers. It is an intentional daily affair. It has grown into much of a habit and a routine rather than a task.

At the early stage, these customers will be divided into personas and each persona (or person) will be studied differently, each with its own degree of inquiry. Every founder must apply each finding with the knowledge of the basic psychology of humans. I.e the want for beauty, comfort, good, easy etc. It is essential that founders are driven by knowledge of what their customers would love. This knowledge also extends to the general understanding of what humans are drawn to and what could make them act in a certain way. 

After a deep understanding of your customers, you will find that your initial idea will change or be tweaked a little. In fact, we find that when the initial idea is still the same from the first time a founder thought about making that product till that very moment, the understanding of the customer is not strong enough. Ideas will change as a better understanding of the customer emerges. This is fine, commendable and encouraged. 

Marty Cagan, senior vice-president of product and design for eBay and a man considered the world guru of product management, once said “Our job as product managers is to be hard on vision and flexible on details”. For instance, you know that men and women in this world need to wear shoes. They often walk barefoot which does not seem right to you. Your vision is for everyone to wear shoes. That is a need in fact. The details of those shoes, the designs, the colour, and the creation of this product into life must all be backed by knowledge and data. 

The best way to understand their wants is if everyone on the team is doing so. Engineers are not just to code. There is a particular kind of result that stems from understanding than plain blank head space. It’s our job to influence a culture of product discovery. 


Do you think you can enter the head of your customer? Not just in relation to your product but understand what influences their actions, their movements and then their wants. 

This is the secret of a great product that customers want because the team thinks like them, acts like them, predicts them, and creates for them. It is likened to a chess game.

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