What is a Product Vision Statement?
A product vision, or product vision statement, describes the overarching long-term mission of your product. Vision statements are aspirational and communicate concisely where the product hopes to go and what it hopes to achieve in the long term.
The statement should serve as a guide and reminder to all stakeholders involved in a product’s development (the product team, development, the executive staff, marketing, etc.) about the shared objective they’re trying to achieve with this product.
Your vision statement should also answer the question of why you are creating a product and what your company hopes to accomplish with it in the future. As an example, Google’s vision statement is to “provide access to the world’s information in one click.”
Who is Responsible for Defining the Product Vision?
The answer to this question is everyone in the company. The product vision, remember, should influence how everyone throughout the organization performs their jobs. With this in mind, insights or inspiration for a statement can and should come from anywhere within the company—and the product team should actively solicit input from all.
As a practical matter, though, the product manager should take the lead on driving the product vision statement to completion and then making sure everyone in the organization knows it.
4 principles of a great product vision statement
Regardless of which direction you go with your vision, there are five pieces that every product vision statement needs to have. All of these help focus your product vision, ensuring its clarity.
All product visions should:
Be customer-focused: Your customers are the whole reason for your product. If you don’t reference them in your product vision, you need to rework it.
Be a bit of a stretch, but not unrealistic: Your vision needs to be attainable. If it’s too much of a stretch, you’ll have a hard time rallying your team around the vision. And don’t say “be the best.” That’s lame. Get to the root of what you mean when you say that you want to be “the best.”
Show differentiation: Something in your vision should explain why your product is different from your competitors.
Look X years down the road: In five years, you want people to say ___ about your product.
Your product vision doesn’t need to state each one of these parts explicitly, but it should imply them to some degree.
A product strategy is a high-level plan describing what a business hopes to accomplish with its product, and how it plans to do so
Product capabilities are the main abilities you need to have in order to perform the primary product function: defining a value-added product and getting it delivered. These capabilities are: