We are pleased to report that in a little over 100 days, irondoggy.com sold out of the first 100 Runner’s Choice hands-free dog leashes. In that time, we’ve transformed from fitness buffs into full-fledged product designers (who happen to like to run with their dog). The transformation turned out to be easier than we imaged. As many of you surely know, designing a killer product has a lot in common with developing six-pack abs.
Design Principle #1: Know Your User
One of the biggest problems with fitness advice is that it’s often written as if everybody’s body is the same. The truth is, what is stellar advice for a 6′ ,165 pound, 30 year-old guy might yield very different results for someone who isn’t so tall, thin, young and male. ”Know your user” is the founding principle of product design. This is why we took so much time to test the design of our first dog leash. We got plenty of feedback from all sorts of folks, but our focus is on runners and their feedback is what drove that product’s design. We think that you should follow suit. When seeking advice on how to improve your fitness, make certain that advice is targeted to somebody like you.
Design Principle #2: Go with the Simplest Solution First
A sure fire way to fail at your fitness goals is to convince yourself that you will take on all sorts of inconvenient, difficult and overly complicated exercises and eating habits. Two days in, your’e discouraged and cheating. Are you really that much of a loser? We think not. The problem is that people tend to think that bigger and more complicated is bound to be better. We can see it in other running leashes on the market, many have lots of bells and whistles that you won’t find in our products. Our goal is to develop the simplest solution that meets the needs of runners and nothing more. We want you to focus on your run and your dog, not your leash. The same is true for fitness training. Before diving into a routine that is difficult to maintain, you might see how things turn out with a slight modification to your diet and training schedule.
Design Principle #3: Put Your Ideas to the Test
The only way to know what really strengthens your core is to take an idea and try it. Set a goal, measure where you are now, give your idea a go and then measure the results. If it’s working, awesome. If not, try something else. This is exactly the advice given to product designers. The worst thing you can do is conjure up an idea in your basement and take it directly to market. The likelihood of nailing the design without testing it is pretty slim. This is why irondoggy.com doesn’t have a two-dog runner’s leash on the market yet. We are taking the time to test our ideas before we start selling them. When we do, we should have a well thought out product that any flat-stomached two-dog running athlete would be proud to own.