Launching Your Own Digital Product

Beren Van Daele, Product Ownership

At the start of my Product Owning journey a mentor gave me his number One tip:

Treat the product as if the budget came out of your own pocket.

I thought I understood him back them. Turns out I was wrong.


TestSpere used in RiskStorming

What does it take?

After months of hard work, we’re launching a new product in a couple of days.
It’s an online product that helps team collaborate on their understanding of quality, identify risks and how they can work together to achieve said quality and battle the risks, together.

Sure, we started coding some moths ago, but it actually started in 2017 when I launched a card deck called TestSphere with Ministry of Testing. Months after that, RiskStorming became a workshop which used the cards. Two years later after the workshop improved and improved over time AND gathered more ‘believers’ we decided to build it into an online tool.
It seemed logical to do so when the whole world suddenly went remote for obvious reasons.

Things working for us:

  • The workshop format was mature already
  • The userbase was modest but vocal and enthusiastic
  • The product adds immediate and clear value

To be invested:

  • 20.000 EUR and counting. (1 fulltime dev + several part-time freelancers)
  • Countless hours of my own time & headspace

Possible reasons of failure

  • Confirmation Bias bubble: People may be vocal, but this doesn’t translate to sales
  • User feedback wasn’t reflecting needs of the larger group of possible users

How do I feel about this?

A strange mixture of pride, fear, anxiety and excitement. It is my own budget, my idea-baby and my personal feeling of success/failure on the line.
When you have this much of your own skin in the game, your project fills you with both happiness and dread, depending on the day or even the hour. Sometimes I have stress-induced headaches spanning several days. Sometimes I feel like I can take on the world.

It’s a strange but exciting journey. Even in the worst case scenario, I may lose some material and selfconfidence, but I’ll have learned to be a more emphatic leader and human being.

If you’re in product ownership, management, leadership, I dare you to fund your own project. You may curse me for it afterwards, but you’ll have grown considerably.

The Product?


Early version of RiskStormingOnline

If you want to know more about what I think was worth the investment and effort, read on.

RiskStormingOnline is for you if:

  • You believe your team can’t define Quality as a group.
  • You suspect there are highly important risks that are being ignored
  • There is no clear strategy or plan to build in Quality from the start

We launch on the 3rd of September 2020.
Interested? Sign up here