Product evolution is driven by industry to improve the user experience for a customer that is constantly changing. As product managers it is important for us to understand where our customers want to go, so we can lead them there.
Each new feature or each new product changes the user. They learn new ways to experience the work the product does for them. They learn and adapt their behavior to that new environment. Writers, tired of slopping ink from the quill evolved to the fountain pen. Fountain pen users, tired of refilling pens evolved to the ball point. Ball point users tired of inked up shirt pockets found retractable pens. Each new experience puts the user on a path to discovering a new area that can be improved. Where there “has to be a better way.”
As product managers, the best way to understand the roadmap for your product is to understand the customer’s journey and their experiences using your product. You can’t just rely on sales figures or website clicks to understand where your product needs to go next. You need to see how your products are being used and specifically how customers are evolving by using them. Only by seeking out what people are using the product for, how important it is their job, and how satisfied they are with the experience can you map the next stop on the roadmap.