A product embodies the principles around which it is built. These values guide actions and decisions. These beliefs give identity and meaning. Product principles educate the customer and differentiate the market.
Your product is the opportunity to serve people. It can make change happen when it provides the utility in the way your customer desires.
SpiderOak is an online backup and file hosting service built around the principle of trust. As a utility, cloud storage is commonly available and competitively priced so SpiderOak focuses on the importance of security and privacy with the worldview of a new data scandal each week.
Product principles are connected outside in and inside out. They steer the intention about what is desirable or undesirable, good or bad, helpful or selfish—driving the mindset to build something meaningful.
All the key product questions: “Who is it for?”, “What do they desire?”, “How can it help?” and “Why does it matter?”, can easily be answered by principles.