The purpose of product discovery is to address these critical risks:
And it's not enough that it's just the product manager's opinion on these questions. We need to collect evidence.
When it comes to how we do product discovery, there are a set of core principles that drive how we work. If you understand these, you will understand not only how to work well today but also how to easily incorporate new techniques as they emerge in the future.
Customers don't know what's possible, and with technology products, none of us know what we really want until we actually see it. It's not that customers or our executives are necessarily wrong; it's just that it's our job to make sure the solution we deliver solves the underlying problem. This is probably the most fundamental principle in all of modern product. Historically, in the vast majority of innovations in our industry, the customers had no idea that what they now love was even a possibility. This is only becoming truer with time.