I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. — Albert Einstein
There are three types of people:
- Those who do not ask enough questions.
- Have a lot of questions but no intention to answer them.
- Ask good questions and seek ways to answer them.
Let’s take our fashion app, Chaopin, as an example. We initially assumed that females love to buy fashion related stuff, so we steered our content towards females. However, we tested this assumption and it was proven wrong. Even though we have less male fashion items in our feeds and fashion catalogs, over 90% of purchases were from males.
This was a big surprise to us and we wondered why.
Out of curiosity and to learn, we kept digging into questions such as:
- Are males or females buying male items?
- Why are there still many female items on the hot fashion item feeds when most of the items purchased are male items?
- Is there a difference between male and female users behavior? If so, what?
- What happen if we decrease the number of female items and increase male items?
- What factors are there in the market that contributes to this behavior?
Eventually, we created many more questions and prioritized them. Some were eliminated but many needed to be answered through metrics and user feedback. This helps to drive actions that lead to a better targeted product and saves us working on ideas that may be based on faulty assumptions.
With all these questions, we didn’t stop there. We were eager to learn so we came up with metrics that we previously wouldn’t have thought useful, discussed different possibilities and tried to prove them true or false. In the process we gained important knowledge and helped us to understand how people use Chaopin and how we tailor the app to address the need of the market.
This process also helped us to develop a skill in asking better questions. The more questions that were asked, the more insightful our questions were.
As Albert Einstein put — become passionately curious is extremely useful. Curiosity will lead you to ask and answer many questions, and with a good framework you can gain important insights from a few crucial questions.
You won’t go far if learning isn’t your first priority when developing a product. You will run around in circles if you don’t have curiosity.