Building a Product: The Right Team

While most of our days are spent working on software projects, from time to time, we are asked by our customers to help build a product instead. This task, however, tends to come with a perceptible measure of adjustment, as it calls for a very different mentality and set of skills.

Having this in mind, today we would like to begin a brand new series on developing products and how this differs from conventional development. This first article will focus on our customers and the team of creatives they will require.

After all, building a successful product may not always be a walk in the park, but it certainly becomes a lot easier when you have the right people at your disposal.

The Three H’s

When it comes to the roles and responsibilities of product developers, perhaps no one has done a better job spelling these out than renowned Startup Founder Rei Inamoto. According to him, in order to run an efficient startup team, you theoretically only need three people: a hipster, a hacker and a hustler.

So let’s dive right in and take a look at what he meant.

The Hipster, aka the Perceptive Designer

Our first role belongs to the lovers of refined taste and haters of all things mainstream. While these traits are obviously stereotypical — who needs labels anyway? — the Hipster knows exactly what it takes to make something drab look beautiful.

In all things, the Hipster shows genuine empathy towards consumers, being able to accurately gauge their needs and the reasons behind them as well. This paired with their strong methodical skills enables them to offer nothing but pertinent and achievable solutions.

From a technical standpoint, the Hipster is particularly gifted in harnessing the power of UI components in order to create incredible user experiences for mobile and web platforms alike. Still, despite the nickname, the Perceptive Designer need not be a designer at all — though he or she usually is — just someone with an eye for detail and a keen desire to help out end users.

The Hacker, aka the Seasoned Software Developer

Next on our list is The Hacker, the kid at school who wore glasses twice as big as everyone else’s and played chess in his spare time, and the most obvious role in any development process. He is, of course, the seasoned software developer.

In addition to being thoroughly familiar with a plethora of technologies, the Hacker is well acquainted with his teammate’s various roles within the company and does everything he can to contribute and help wherever he is needed.

This is especially important in Agile teams, as we believe in writing sustainable code, and that, by very necessity, means all aspects of a project must remain interconnected.

From a technical perspective, the Hacker never limits himself to a single programming language and is always up for a challenge — ever learning, ever evolving.

The Hustler, aka the Skilled Salesperson

Lastly, no product development team is ever complete without their very own Hustler. Though she may never win an award for Chilled-Out Person of the Year, the Hustler or Skilled Salesperson is indispensable to get your product out the door and into the wild.

Ever the social butterfly, the Hustler’s greatest strength lies in her natural ability to form new connections and make lasting partnerships that can benefit the business as a whole. And as a welcome bonus, she has a knack for always finding the perfect ways to package a product and pitch it to its ideal audience.

This she does due in no small part to her extensive background in marketing. She is fluent in the various communication methods that are used used along the buyer’s journey and intuitively understands each and every buyer’s persona — though she never neglects the additional research that is needed with every new product.

The Hacker’s on us

Working with Software Planet, you can rest assured that the role of the Hacker — and sometimes even the Hipster — will be more than taken care of. It remains, nonetheless, entirely your responsibility to ensure that a suitable Hustler, and any other missing party, are found.

So there you have it. It is worth pointing out that these skills are never set in stone and will often overlap in certain individuals as well. The important thing to do is make sure that every one of them is somehow represented in your company.

From then on, however, the world is your oyster! As Inamoto knew well, you will find yourself in the best possible position to release fantastic products.

David Blackwood

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