While talking to people will often be the best way to validate a problem worth solving, there is another powerful way of uncovering underserved markets — Google Keyword Tool. Andrew Chen gives a detailed guide on how to leverage this powerful tool.
An X/Y diagram is typically used to plot where a product sits compared to other products available in a market. However, this is only useful for products entering an existing market where competitors are already clearly defined. Steve Blank suggests a more suitable diagram, the petal, for products entering entirely new markets. In this model, a product’s positioning is ascertained based on its relation to several adjacent markets.
It’s also crucial to understand what kind of market you are entering. It could be an existing market where you have to differentiate yourself from many competitors, a new market to which you’ll need to spend a considerable amount of money educating or a resegmented market which will require you to activities from both.
After you have found a validated customer and product, it’s time to invest resources into selling it widely. This will require plenty of work and input from marketing, but there is still much to do as a Product Manager. Martin from Cleverism references 4 steps for this stage that were outlined by Steve Blank — determining your year 1 objectives, identifying your company and product positioning, launching your company and product, and creating demand for your product.