A product is created because there exists a compelling vision that brings positive change to people. A vision is important to inspire the employees to build products to achieve the greater goal.
Few examples of great vision:
Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.Amazon
Amazon made a huge positive impact to customers by making shopping and shipment fast, easy and affordable.
Putting smiles on the faces of everyone Nintendo touches.Nintendo
Nintendo definitely does that. Personally, I enjoy playing Nintendo games and they do bring smiles whenever I play Mario games on Nintendo switch.
Qualities of a vision
To create a vision that motivates the team, it should have the following qualities as per Roman Pichler in his book Strategize: Product Strategy and Product Roadmap Practices for the Digital Age.
An effective vision has four qualities: it is big, shared, Inspiring, and concise.
A vision has to be BIG. A broader vision helps people believe and get inspired. Amazon’s vision statement “earth’s most customer-centric company” shows how greater their vision is. It is also big enough to inspire their people to work towards it. With customer reviews, Amazon have made it more transparent about the product quality the helped millions of customers make decisions about their purchase instead of shopping in the dark. They are sure a customer centric company and have made many brick and mortar store to follow the same vision.
One of the other benefit of setting a BIGGER vision is that the end product can be easily changed. E.g. If Amazon.com website doesn’t align with the vision, the end product can be replaced or extended to one or more products. Say for instance Amazon GO, 360 carries the same value.
A shared vision guides and helps everyone contribute towards the goal. It is the North Star ★ that everyone looks up and be reminded about where they are heading. This also empowers every single employee to take decisions and act on it.
A vision that is inspiring will influence the people to stick with the goal. An inspiring vision makes employees understand that they have a bigger purpose at work. It also help employees to stay on track when the process of achieving the goal gets tougher.
Let’s take Nintendo’s vision “Putting smiles on everyone…” as an example. The statement is quite positive and inspires a developer or an animator to make sure what they create is more enjoyable for the users.
A vision has to be clear and concise, typically not more than a sentence or two. This helps every employee understand and remember easily.
E.g. TED vision statement “Spread ideas”. It is simple enough to understand and follow. TED exactly does that, they just spread ideas.
Now that we learnt about how big, shared, inspiring and concise a vision has to be, what is your vision going to be ?