A Comprehensive Guide to Feature Discovery for Product Managers


Get a full comprehensive guide to help you discover the best new features to build next for your product. It will set you up with everything you need to know about a product and gets you started on your focus area.

How will this guide help?
  • This guide will help you discover the best new features to build next for your product
  • You will need this when you join a new team or a company.
  • Easy-to-follow guide, clear and actionable steps for feature discovery and help you navigate your new company

Guided Feature Discovery

Product managers have to be aware of features that can help or hinder their product.

This comprehensive guide to feature discovery is a resource to help you discover the best new features to build next for your product. You will need this when you join a new team or a company.

This Product5x guide will work well for product managers, entrepreneurs and startup founders who are in-charge for their product

It will set you up with everything you need to know about a product and gets you started on your focus area.

Okay, before we get in I got 2 questions for you

Okay, you are all set now

In this blog post, I will share a feature discovery framework which I and my team developed (after going though so many iterations). You can edit this feature discovery framework to suit your use-case in Google Docs / Notion.

We will be exploring these 10 stages

  • User Personas
  • Market Size
  • Understanding Competition
  • Brand Analysis
  • Your Product’s SWOT
  • Feature Comparison
  • Basic Funnel (AAARR)
  • User Feedback 
  • Hypothesis

Defining User Persona

Defining the user persona is a crucial step in the feature discovery process. It is the first step to creating a feature that is useful and usable for the target audience. User personas are fictional people that represent groups of similar users that behave in certain ways.

The personas are created with demographic data, their needs and goals, behaviours, attitudes and values.

We’ll help you in creating one user persona. Aim for 2-3 unique personas

  1. Location of your persona
  2. What is the age Range
  3. What is the level of education?
  4. What is their occupation?
  5. Are they a web user? mobile user?
  6. What are their needs and objectives?
User Persona Example Template
User Persona Example Template

Create more user personas here from this feature discovery template in Google Docs

Market Size Estimation

The potential size of market might look hard to estimate, but we’ll give you a starting point which is convincing. There are 2 approaches to calculating market size: Top Down and Bottom up. 

Here we’re going to estimate top down by looking at percentage wise population based on location, age group, gender, income group, targeted interests and device users. 

Market Size Estimation Table
Market Size Estimation Table

Understanding Competitors

You can't make decisions until you know what your competitors look like, what they are doing, and what they currently offer - Evan & Cole” 

Identifying Competitors

The first step in a competitive analysis is to identify competitors or those who have a similar product or service as the company. In order to do this, we need to look at their websites, social media channels, and marketing campaigns. We also need to look at how they are performing in the market and what their customer base is like.

List them out, and classify them with these tags

  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Potential
  • Substitute 
Competitors Listing and Classification
Competitors Listing and Classification
  • Direct Competitors: The easiest to identify are direct competitors. These are companies that offer the same products and services in the same market.
  • Indirect Competitors: These are companies that do not offer the same product or service but can still pose a threat to your business because they provide a substitute for your product.
  • Potential Complements: These are other types of products or services that can be used with your product to make it more valuable for customers.
  • Potential Substitutes: These are products or services that could replace your product but have not done so yet.

You must be concerned with direct competitors and be competitive against them. 

Your brand vs Competition

Brand Analysis
Brand Analysis

Your Product’s SWOT

List down your product's

  • Strength
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Feature Comparison

It's important to be aware of your competitors before launching your product, and this table is a good way to do that. You don't necessarily have to make one on your own, but it can be helpful.

We should be able to see some patterns emerging from this analysis.

Create your feature comparison table like the one shown here

Feature Comparison Table
Feature Comparison Table

You need to keep an eye on the competition and monitor competition (link to our page) in order to continuously adapt and evolve.

Basic Funnel (AAARR)

The AARRR is a framework created by Dave McClure to help you understand the funnel process of your product. The acronym stands for Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral and Revenue.


User Feedback 

With so much responsibility on your shoulders, it is only fair that you get feedback from your users to know how your product is performing in the market.

User Feedback - Product Management
User Feedback - Product Management


A hypothesis is a single statement that you believe to be true and can be tested. As such, it will either succeed or fail.

Pick the high-ranking idea and fill in for the tags based on your use case.

Generate your hypothesis now

Don't want to fill it? Here is our secret:

We believe <user_persona_name> will pay for <idea_name> by doing <action> because <value> matters to them.


Apart from good understanding of the market and the customers, you also need to be able to test assumptions about the product before it is launched. It's easy to assume that we know things, but it is always a possibility that we are wrong. We never really know anything for certain until we test it.

Give risk score out of 10 for each of your assumption. More the uncertainty, more is the risk.

  • Assumption 1 - Risk Score out of 10
  • Assumption 2 - Risk Score out of 10
  • Assumption 3 - Risk Score out of 10

Choose between Notion / Google Docs and get stated with a ready made template here for feature discovery.

That is all from us.