Ideation, in terms of community, can be a useful tool on several fronts. It can motivate employees helping them feel appreciated when others vote for their ideas. It can also be used to increase engagement, ensuring your developers stay in your community and continue to grow. Most importantly, it can be the driver of your product development as your community suggests new uses and features they would like to see.
Using ideation to motivate employees is somewhat of a no-brainer. People are happy when they are heard and appreciated, leading them to work more efficiently and get projects done quickly. Developers aren’t necessarily looking for their boss’s approval though, it’s more about their peers. A developer community is a perfect place for this because it’s the organic place for people to share their ideas and knowledge. And who knows, maybe some of these great ideas are about more than just the code they’re working on.
You may be familiar with the concept of data mining – examining large sets of data to generate new information. Ideation through a community is doing this by gathering data on what users want, which means that it’s then up to you to process that data and gain information. When looking at ideation as the driver of your product development, this means that you’re letting your users not only pick the path the product goes on to grow, you’re actually letting them build the road with you. You’re going to save countless hours and money by using ideation rather than traditional methods of focus groups, testing markets for viability, or releasing a beta version of your product with features that you “hope” your audience wants to have.
Instead, you give your product and marketing teams a head start on that whole process by allowing them to examine what the community wants and then create value statements around those things. You can have high-level conversations about your next major release rather than having to dive into small updates and hope they fit the market.
Let your developer community help build the product they want to see next and you’ll see an increase in engagement leading to better products that people are passionate about being released fast.