Validating the vision statements

For testing Gig E Vision cable installations we use a Fluke network analyser that allows us to measure the maximum throughput rate of complete network topologies.We use this to validate the combined performance of the Ethernet switches and the cables we supply and also offer this service to our customers to validate their complete network installations.Only when these parameters are optimised, can data be transmitted over a cable with maximum or extended length.We also find more and more cameras using the full Camera Link bandwidth or maximum frequency of 85 MHz on the cable.Early Camera Link testing techniques were undertaken using simple grey wedges as image content.Experience has shown however, that the grey wedges were too "soft" and did not test all transition combinations of the data signals so that all crosstalk errors possible in practical use were not detected.Tests are carried out using a PCbased automatic cable tester which verifies all wires to ensure we detect incorrect wiring or short circuits.

This is undertaken using a PC based test rig which identifies the bit errors on the cable at increasing clock frequencies.

I’d rather see an inspiring overarching vision that I can get excited about and say “Yes! I might even want some info on how our company gets value from what we build, but really I’m more interested in who we are addressing and what their problems are. Oh, and if you took the two tests above with your co-workers, they’d all remember it…or at least a pretty close flavor of it. Try something like Innocent Drinks’ vision statement: “Make natural, delicious food and drink that helps people live well and die old”. After you’ve wordsmithed your awesome, clear, thoughtful, inspiring vision statement (and if you have, share it here, I’d love to read them), write it in the box, pat yourself on the back, high-five your teammates, and move forward one space. Mostly because they are all hypotheses, or guesses at what you think the right answer is. So try that out and see if turns out to be different than the customers you currently view as your target segment. Good, write one sentence in the box that simply describes these people, pat yourself on the back, high-five your teammates, and move forward one space. Chris has a wealth of experience in multiple roles and demonstrable successes in building, growing and managing high-tech companies and business units and real-world products from concept to delivery.

Somehow, they hit all the right points, but more often than not, every time I see this template used, the vision statement gets very long winded and all I can hear is “blah, blah, blah…” What I’d rather have is a simple, concise, visual representation of the vision that I can understand and relate to. I’d like some detail too…about who it is we’re building for, what problems they have, and how our idea solves that problem. Here is Ikea’s: “To create a better everyday life for the many people, we shall offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.” A little wordy for me, but it does get the point across. Chris has an entrepreneurial mindset with proven results in guiding product teams that deliver on product strategy and effective go-to-market solutions.

If your notes match, you can stop reading now…well, not really, but you obviously work on a product with a clear vision. It’s the tool I turn to most often when I start working with teams to define their product vision. Check it out: Let’s walk through the sections and see what we need to think about. Here’s some simple advice on what to write in this box: Say a lot in just a few words. We’re looking for customers who clearly identify with our vision. What do we think the problems of our customers are? Empathize with your customers and truly try to understand what their problem is. When you think you have a good problem hypothesis, write it in the box in clear, simple terms, pat yourself on the back, high-five your teammates, and move forward one space.

Enter Roman Pichler’s super simple Product Vision Board. Describe a long-term vision but don’t be overly restrictive. The first box “Target Group” is all about our customer hypothesis. Typically, for a new product, or even existing products, we’re looking at the earlyvangelists. The next box, “Needs”, addresses our problem hypothesis. Based on the customers you described, and the problem you identified, what is the minimal thing you can do/build to solve that problem and make them smile?

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