2 min read

How to do effective product discovery?

This article discusses how the fear of missing out (FOMO) can be a useful tool in product development. By diversifying your product bets and experimenting with different ideas, you can reduce the risk of failure and increase your chances of success.

Discovering effective product development strategies that align with your business goals is crucial for success. One way to achieve this is by understanding your product discovery habits, including how you manage the fear of missing out (FOMO). FOMO is often associated with social media and personal relationships, but it can also be a useful tool in product development. By diversifying your product bets, you can reduce the risk of failure and increase your chances of success. Here's how to implement this approach:

Conduct thorough research

Conducting thorough research is critical to identify potential ideas and ensuring there is a need for your product in the market. This involves identifying your target audience, understanding their pain points, and evaluating the competition.

Prioritize your ideas

Prioritizing your ideas based on their potential impact and feasibility helps you focus your resources on the ideas that have the highest potential for success.

Experiment and iterate

Experimenting with different approaches and collecting feedback from users helps identify what works and what doesn't. This allows you to iterate on your ideas and refine them for maximum impact. As Marty Cagan famously stated in "Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love," “The primary reason products fail is because they don’t meet the needs of customers.” Thus, constant experimentation and feedback are critical to aligning with customer needs.

Embrace failure

Embracing failure as a natural part of the product development process helps you learn and iterate, ultimately increasing your chances of success in the long run.

Leverage the power of opportunity trees

Teresa Torres, in "Continuous Discovery Habits," introduced the concept of opportunity trees as a way to visually map out potential solutions to customer needs. She emphasizes, "Opportunity solution trees provide product teams with a visual aid to ensure they are using their time effectively toward best meeting their desired outcome." Instead of getting bogged down by countless ideas, this visual framework enables teams to see the bigger picture and evaluate the most promising opportunities.

Stay outcome-focused

Marty Cagan encourages teams to stay outcome-focused rather than output-focused. This perspective ensures that teams aren't just producing features but are genuinely driving valuable outcomes for users and the business. As he mentions, “Great product teams are objective-driven." Make sure your team understands not just what they are building, but, more importantly, why.


In conclusion, leveraging your FOMO in product development can be a healthy motivator when managed strategically. By following these practical tips, tapping into insights from industry experts, and prioritizing your business goals, you can implement this approach into your daily work and make the most of your product development efforts. Incorporating tools like opportunity trees and maintaining an outcome-focused mindset are essential facets of modern product practices that can elevate your team's effectiveness.

Want even more tactical tips? I've collected templates over the years, that help me daily. They help me onboard faster with teams, brainstorm more collaboratively and communicate outcomes in a crisper way.