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—  500+ Value Creators
Hi, I'm Arjun
The Founder/Voice of DisplayZen
DisplayZen is where I share my journey as
a product & user focused creator

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- Product Creation (psychology, design & strategy)
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How To Craft Great Products (MasterClass)

The DZ Letter
14 min
Today's Snapshot

> Why Products

> Product = Brand

> Changing The Way You Think

> Market Research

> Design Thinking

Read time: 14 min

Hey there, Arjun here.

Before we dive into productizing yourself (crafting great products), let’s zoom out first.

In the one-person business economy, it's you building a brand in the digital space and then monetizing it by selling your skills in the form of a product instead of a service so you can sell value instead of your time.

Which gives you the freedom of choice + time and leverage.

The act of selling a product is productization. Productizing yourself came from the idea of packaging the solution to your past problems as a form of a product (e.g. media or software-based product.

Think of products as a subscription

Before I go into how to craft great products, I want to (hopefully) reframe your thinking around one-time purchase products.

Think of your products as a subscription. Even if they are a one-time purchase.


When you think of your products as a subscription, you:

1. Give value every month

2. Follow up with your customers so they won’t leave

3. Make sure the product is up-to-date

The problem?

Most creators think that they can make it and then forget about their product.

No, you should not do that. Unless you are 100% confident the content in your product is evergreen.

Evergreen = The principles covered will last at least 10 years

Okay, so what?

When you give value continuously, your customers will associate quality with your brand + loyalty will increase (if you actually provide high value).

This in turn increases word-of-mouth.

Instead of your customers paying you in cash every month, they pay you in word-of-mouth (which if you ask me is better)

Why is it better?

Because word-of-mouth marketing is exponential.

Let’s say 1 person tells 2 people and then those 2 people tell another 2 people each and so on and on — So: 1 → 2 → 4 → 8 → 16…

And thus ↓

Great products sell themselves

Why products?

I could give you a whole essay on why products are the best form of monetization (after a certain stage). But this visual sums it up

Your product = Brand

What do I mean?

Your brand is how people perceive you. The better they perceive you, the stronger your brand. And the more authority your brand has.

Crafting a digital product doesn’t just make it so that you have an extra income source but it also increases authority. By a lot.

It goes from “he’s saying something” to “he knows what he’s saying”

Look from fresh eyes

When you are covering a novel idea, it’s important to zoom out and look from fresh eyes. What may seem easy to you, may not for others.

Think like a user who has never tried your product before.

Break down your solution and set all the constraints up front. Understand and dive into your customers pain points, challenges, and their goals.

Then, tell the story of your product.

Here’s one more analogy

Painkillers vs Vitamins

People want painkillers. Not vitamins.

People are often drawn to solutions that provide immediate relief to their pressing problems or pains.

How do you make a product that solves a problem immediately?

It varies from product to product. But keep this notion in mind.

Okay now let’s go into Market Research.

You need to create a great product. Not just a good one.


It helps you achieve The 3Fs

F - Freedom of Choice (Autonomy)

F - Freedom of Time

F - Fulfilment

through monetization


monetization = distribution of value = productization

To build a great product, you need to solve a burning problem.

And for that, you need to do some research about both your customers and competitors.

Market Research

Customer research

Market Research is split into two categories:

  1. Defining your ideal customer
  2. The research phase

Defining your ideal customer

It is easy to think that this is not that important of a step.

You probably have an idea of what your ideal customer is like based on the product you have decided to make. Defining your ideal customer is the first step to researching your customers.

Questions you need to ask about your target customer:

  1. What occupation do they have?
  2. Why do they buy it?
  3. How do they want to be helped?
  4. What results do they hope to achieve?
  5. Who are they?

Now, let’s go through why we need to ask these questions.

  1. Are they a Web Designer? Are they a programmer?This will help you personalise your product to the customer.
  2. Do they buy it to make more money? to feel better? Define this and you will know the purpose of your product.
  3. Do they want to be helped through a book, a course, a 1-1 session or something else? This will help you understand which type of product you need to make.
  4. This is similar to question two. What is their purpose in buying the product?
  5. What is their story and what have they gone through? This will help you understand their pain points and you can use these to get more sales.
  6. Are they 18 years to 30 years old or are they a older? This will help you choose the product's tone and style.

Now that you know what questions to ask about your target customer, you now have to ask a few questions about your past self.


When you visited a website,

  1. What made you buy the product?
  2. What made you not buy the product?
  3. What did you like about the website?
  4. What did you dislike about the website?

When you were a beginner,

  1. What was your mindset?
  2. What did you not know?
  3. What were your goals?
  4. Did you spend a lot of money on products?
  5. How did you wanted to be helped?

Answer these questions on a note-taking app like notion (highly recommended) or on a notebook. After this, we will go into the ways you can research your target customer.

Essentially, you're creating a customer avatar for your product.

Let’s split up The Research Phase into two categories:

  1. Customers
  2. Competitors

Market research is really about asking yourself a bunch of questions and then answering them based on the product you want to build.

We have already written down many questions to ask yourself and also why you need to ask them. It is the same here but we will go a bit deeper.

First of all is where can you find your customers.

Are your customers on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or somewhere else?

Once you know where they usually spend their time, you know where to market your product and also where to do your research. If your customers are on Twitter and you make your product based on your research on Instagram, it will not sell as well. It's simple as that.

Secondly, What does your customer want?

Why do your target customers even need your product? And Why Yours?

Why not that other guy who is charging lesser?

This part will also include the topic on your Unique Selling Point which we will cover later on in this guide but the reason we need to know the reason for the customer’s purchase is so that you know what your product needs to accomplish.

Here is our suggestion, take a pen and paper and write down all the pain points of your customers/reasons why your customer need your product. Afterwards, write down how your product will solve their needs.

The question I hear a lot is “How do I make sure that what I think my customer needs is correct?”

This is quite a common question you might have. This is our advice. To truly understand their needs, you have to talk and ask your current or potential customers. When I first started, I would join discussion groups and ask a few people what they would like.

You can ask anyone who is willing to share but make sure the person you are asking is a potential customer for you.

Here are a few questions you can ask them:

  1. What do you want to learn?
  2. Would you like a “Insert Product” ?
  3. What would make you buy “Insert Product” ?
  4. What type of products do you usually buy?
  5. Why do you buy them?

I also recommend you to read through this article to get a better understanding of how you can asses the market:

While this section alone will get you far.

To go further, you need to utilize design thinking.

So that you can make a product that truly helps them. Which increases word-of-mouth.

Deploy design thinking to understand your customers

Design thinking forces you to really understand the problem you're trying to solve.

To make a great product, the only way is to:

  • analyze your customers needs
  • know the possible solutions to their goals
  • emphatize with their problems
  • craft a roadmap for them

User Narratives + Customer Journeys

One way of deploying design thinking is by creating User Narratives and Customer Journeys.

User narratives provide a detailed account of a hypothetical user's experience in interacting with your product or solution. These narratives put you in the shoes of the user, helping you visualize their journey, needs, pain points, and emotions.

By crafting user narratives, you're able to step outside of your own perspective and gain insights into how users might interact with your product.

Customer journeys map out the various touchpoints and interactions that a user has with your product throughout their experience. This highlights key stages, emotions, pain points, and opportunities for improvement along the user's path.

By analyzing the customer journey, you can identify pain points, areas of friction, and moments of delight, allowing you to optimize the user experience and design solutions that address specific pain points.

Competitor research

The second aspect of Market Research is researching your competitors.

Competitor research is vital. We are not going to tell you that this all that you need to succeed in the product space but this will pivot you towards the correct direction.

For example, you are thinking of a product to sell, you come up with an idea, and you start making it and in no time, it is ready to be published, you publish it but no one buys it, nothing really happens and you feel defeated because you just wasted a lot of time. This could have been easily avoided if you did your research.

Here are 2 examples to see if your potential product has an audience:

  1. Are there other people in the field? If so, how many?
  2. Look at the landing page of that product, check how many reviews there are. A rough estimation of sales is 10x the number of reviews. This will tell you whether the product is profitable or not.

Most of the time, you need a starving audience, not just a normal audience. A normal audience will sell but a starving audience will give you great rewards. Alex Hormozi talks about this.

If you sell the worst hotdogs outside a stadium with a bunch of hungry people, you will be sold out.

Same thing here. What do your audience really want? What will they spend their hard-earned money for? Usually it is to earn more money or achieve an intrinsic goal they have.

This is usually accomplished by solving a problem they are facing. Which ties back to understanding your customers well.

And that’s it for this email. This email covered a lot of product creation.


Arjun, DisplayZen

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