Where Product Ideas Come From?

As a product manager, one of his responsibilities is to prepare a backlog for the team to develop. This backlog is usually in the form of ideas, feedback, or technical debt.
Sometimes people have a wrong perception of the Product Manager’s job. Many think that the Product Manager’s job is to find ideas for products and serve as a backlog, when in fact, the product manager is mainly tasked with collecting these ideas. It is infrequent for a product manager to bring forth the breakthrough notion alone.

Then if the Product Manager is collecting ideas, where does the idea come from? Here are the sources of ideas that usually come from this group: Employee, Metric, User, or Client.

Where do Product ideas come from?
Idea Definition


Who belongs to this group are coworkers, bosses, management levels, or even the idea comes from yourself.

Employees are one of the sources of ideas because employees often get input from outside, and then the information is translated into an idea. This idea can expand with the knowledge possessed by the employee.

For example, an employee is studying a problem from a customer. What the person does is do research and talk to the customer about the situation at hand. The result of the discussion was then employee refinement and meeting with the internal team. If the team agree with the proposed idea, the idea will be followed by the development process.


Metrics are measurements used to see some properties. In this context, it means software metrics.
The goals of software metrics include obtaining objectives, reproducible and quantifiable measurements that will create valuable products, budget planning estimation, QA, testing, etc.
Metrics are essential to send a signal if a product is accepted and provide value to the customer.

For example, Feature A of our product shows trends that are not good. A user accesses the feature for no more than one second. this indicates something is not clear in part. So it needs to be investigated for further action taken.

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure” — Peter Drucker

User or Customer

Feedback from people who use our products is also a way to get ideas. Feedback from users is one of the most effective ways to grow your organization by understanding what users want and acting upon it.

Imagine you put resources and man-hours into building your product. But your users are not using the product, which makes you wonder where did you go wrong. The answer is: your perception might not align with that of the users. Hence, learning what your users want becomes essential. User feedback facilitates that learning for you.


This is a special case for Product Managers who are involved in the B2B world. Because what is experienced by the client is sometimes different from what is shared by the user.

The basic difference between users and clients is that the client is the person who pays for the product or service that we offer, while the user is the person who uses the product or service.

In the B2B case, it is usually the client who more often provides feedback in the form of general features needed. While users typically provide input on technical issues when they use it.

The fun fact is that B2C Product Manager is usually more synonymous with listening to customer feedback, and then that feedback is used as an idea compared to B2B Product Manager. However, pendo.io shows different data, the top source of product ideas for B2C Product Managers is mainly generated from Product Teams (this belongs to the employee). In contrast, their B2B Product Manager gets more ideas from Customer Feedback.

Where do Product ideas come from?
Top Sources of Product Ideas — Pendo.io


Because product managers are mainly responsible for the success or failure of their products, and because all products begin as ideas, product managers should take responsibility for their organization ideas.
The idea can come from several sources such as Employee, Metrics, User and Client depending on the type of Product Manager, whether B2C Product Manager or B2B Product Manager.

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