How it all started
Philip Haine, principal of Product Vision Associates, became obsessed with product vision in the early 90's, after his experience at GO Corporation. GO was a pioneer in pen-based computing, thought at the time to be technology's next frontier. After taking in record amounts of venture capital it broke up around 1994.
Philip says, "I think of GO as the prototype of dot-com failures to come. We garnered unprecedented attention and funding before unceremoniously going bust. The whole team thought we were doing something special, and we had poured our hearts and souls into the company, so GO's flameout affected us all deeply.
"In retrospect, it became clear that the product had never stood a chance. The vision was fundamentally flawed from the beginning. It could not have worked at the time as stated.
"I was left with the nagging question: How could so many smart people -- entrepreneurs, investors, employees, industry analysts, the press -- be so wrong? And how can we detect and correct faulty product visions in the future?"
The problems of product vision were by no means unique to GO Corp. Philip saw the same patterns again and again designing products over the next 15 years with his consultancy, Obvious Design, LLC. A design can only be as good as the product's vision. And so it became a routine part of his design engagements to first work with his clients to get the idea right before designing.
Over time he developed a framework for quickly, systematically solving the problems of product vision no matter what the domain. This proprietary framework is has withstood the test of time and is the best process we know.
Getting the product vision right is a fundamental, strategic problem that is a struggle for every product company. Product Vision Associates is a product innovation agency specializing in new products and rebooting older ones. We combine business, strategy and design sensibilities to help you get the idea right.
Contact us with your questions.