OK, so a product doesn’t get developed in a day, but “a few months in the life of a product manager” doesn’t sound as catchy, so bear with my title above.

When we see a new product on the market, we seldom think of the process that transpired months before its release in order to bring it to life. Well, we did think about it and decided to interview Leverate’s Senior Product Manager Maayan Gottlieb to uncover what goes into developing a new product.

For Maayan, the most crucial thing when deciding to develop a product is getting to the essence of the problem. “Often times, a client will come to us saying “we want a button that does this and that” and we could just go ahead and design that for them, but by getting to the essence of the problem, we may find that the button is not the best solution to the problem they have”.

Inspired by Lewis C. Lin’s book Decode and Conquer, Gottlieb uses a combination of the CIRCLES method and the 5 Whys method to run through the process of developing a new product together with his team of 4 developers.

When Gottlieb’s team was tasked with integrating the social trading tool into some of Leverate’s existing platforms, she began thinking about her CIRCLES acronym: Comprehend the situation, Identify the customer or target market, Report their needs…

The team had the target market Identified prior to beginning the process, since this was an improvement of an existing product, so Maayan began with Comprehending the situation. Why does the trader want this feature? Why does the broker want this feature? Why does our company want this feature? We found the traders want help. They want an anchor, someone to help guide them if they are unsure of how to make their own choices. The broker wants to generate additional volume and help the trader feel more confident. Our company wants to provide tools for the success of both the broker and the trader.

Gottlieb didn’t stop there however. She kept asking questions. What does the trader want? She found that the trader doesn’t just want trade copying, but GOOD trade copying. That means a platform that will make the trader feel good about his decision to copy a master. What does the broker want? The broker wants a platform that is dynamic, that changes constantly and that makes people want to come back to it time and time again. “Often times, these types of platforms are very static” explains Gottlieb. “Traders see the same list of masters every time they go in and that turns them off. We needed to be like a social media platform in which people keep coming back because their feed changes constantly.” With that thought in mind, Gottlieb’s team created a social trading platform that takes a combination of the top 25 masters, the top P&Ls, the top number of copiers and makes a randomized list of masters to suggest to the trader. The team also implemented an area that displays a stream of actions. These two features bring about a social trading platform that is extremely active and dynamic.

For every product development or product improvement, Gottlieb goes back to the drawing board and asks herself the same questions. Why, why, and then once again, why.