To Grow Your Software Company- Ask Better Questions!

Steven ten Napel

I recently came across a very interesting quote from Naguib Mahfouz.  If you don’t know him already, Naguib is regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature. This is what the quote said:

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.”

It really resonated with me and I instantly thought about how this applies to software product development and how a business can use this simple logic to develop the right skill set of dynamic communication skills which would result not just in crafting better software solutions but also in selling and marketing them in the most optimal manner. Dynamic communicators are effective conversationalists, with a knack for writing and presenting to the point. These skills can be easily developed through asking the right questions!

In an interview with Time magazine, Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, said, “We run this company on questions, not answers.” The logic behind his statement is pretty straightforward: the only way to find better answers, gain deeper insights and develop more innovative software solutions is by constantly asking questions!

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In every stage of software product development, starting from inception of an idea to the development of the software solution to deciding sales & marketing strategies, the power of questions comes into play.

Innovation

Every decision maker wants but one thing—to get into the mind of the potential customer and create a software solution that truly impacts them. A great way to generate and filter ideas is by interviewing employees that deal with customers regularly as well as encouraging customers to provide feedback through surveys. Some companies have also seen success with taking their product ideas to social media and gaining feedback from fans and customers alike. Applied properly, you’ll see that surveys can prove transformative for your business. If you’d like to read more on how to get started, we have a checklist for evaluating product ideas.

Technology

Sure, you may think the latest technology is the answer to higher margins and lower investment costs. More than

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Development

When your product idea has been pushed into development, you should be focused on asking questions about your capacity and available skill set. These will help you decide whether it would be more profitable to develop the software solution in-house or offshore it to a partner that may have more expertise, knowledge and skill in that particular technology.

Marketing & Sales strategies

We’ve talked previously about product marketing strategies.  When crafting the perfect sales and software product marketing strategies, empower your respective teams to research various areas such as the current economy state, target audience, specific channels that you want to market to and what your differentiating factors are.
When it comes to software product development, asking questions takes the guesswork out of your software product development process and helps you to create a software solution that is founded on quantifiable analytics and not just an impulse. The most successful businesses have thinkers that are also dynamic communicators.

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In order to lead a truly innovative software company, ask questions.