I like to see product discovery as a risk reduction exercise. One of the highest is the risk of building something that no one wants - which is why that risk should be reduced earliest.

SVPG has a great article about planning discovery with a section about the often overlooked risks. This list can be filled with examples of companies that failed because they overlooked this risk.

We must also consider value risk – do the customers actually want this particular problem solved, or is our proposed solution good enough to get people to switch from what they have now?

And then there’s the often messy stakeholder risk where we have to make sure that the solution we come up with in discovery actually works for the different parts of the company. Here are some common examples of that: – Financial risk – can we afford this solution? – Business development risk – does this solution work for our partners? – Marketing risk – is this solution consistent with our brand? – Sales risk – is this solution compatible with our go to market strategy? – Legal risk – is this solution something we can legally actually do? – Ethical risk – is this solution something we should do?