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Thoughts

Your Product Is Just Like WWE

Another Wrestlemania is now in the books, and for wrestling fans, it acts as sort of a “season finale” for WWE’s television shows. Rivalries are wrapped up, new directions are established, and championship titles change hands. But unlike other season finales, there’s no hiatus until the next season. The night after their biggest event of the year, WWE airs Raw, their three-hour weekly live show. The schedule continues from there. The product keeps moving.

WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon explains to Sports Business Journal “Another beautiful thing about WWE is because we are live 52 weeks a year, we have no off season, we have no reruns, and we essentially have a live focus group every single night at these live events telling us what’s working, what’s not working, and what they don’t care about so we can shift and adjust our plans as needed.”

This kind of nimble planning lead to one of Wrestlemania’s hottest matches – a championship bout between underdog Kofi Kingston and reigning champ (and villian) Daniel Bryan. The original plans involved Bryan and acrobatic newcomer Mustafa Ali, but when Ali was injured before a key pay-per-view event building to Wrestlemania, Kingston replaced him at the last minute. Fan response was overwhelming and positive. They wanted to see this talented veteran get his due in the Wrestlemania title picture. Ali was out, and Kingston was in.

“That’s all fine and good, but my knowledge of wrestling begins and ends with knowing Hulk Hogan has a horseshoe mustache,” you might be thinking. That’s fine! The takeaway here is in the Stephanie McMahon quote – the WWE has a live focus group every night of the year by the nature of its constant schedule. There’s not a day where the WWE doesn’t exist in some form.

This is true of anyone who has ever launched software. If it’s out there, it’s live. The users are now real and they are experiencing the product, and if you need feedback, if you need to adapt and adjust for success, they’re out there. We’ve seen a lot of products test and iterate before launch, and then just lay there after that, as if everything ended once it went live.

In truth, once the product went live is really when things should get a closer look. Watch user behaviors and responses to your software. Maybe something you planned isn’t how it’s being used, and maybe something you never even accounted for is now something your audience is really wanting.

While it’s always good to have had a plan, it’s even better to build new plans based on the response to the plan’s execution. Create surveys to send to your users, find accessible places to solicit feedback (like your website or even social media), and never get too content with whatever your original idea was. Your “fans” (users) should be heard and be a continuing part of the life cycle of the future of your product.

If you learn anything from WWE, it should be that. Or how to execute a perfect figure four leglock. Either/or.

At Rocksauce, we are experts creating new and interesting products. We also pilot, create and develop new ideas, solutions, and software for companies big or small. Reach out to us today to see how an innovation or design sprint workshop can encourage goal-setting, ideation, and innovation at your company.

Next Article: Episode 7 - But Why?: Tastes Like my Childhood & Innovation Research

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