When you're starting to design a new product, or redesigning an existing one, the most important thing you can do is validate that the problem you are trying to solve is meaningful, important, and shared by a large enough group of people that a solution is likely to succeed in the market. However, there are two significant challenges to overcome.
I started working at Teehan+Lax a year ago. I am often reminded by Dave Gillis, one of the partners here, of something I said shortly before I was hired: "Any good Planner or Strategist worth their salt can look at a complex problem, go away for a month, dig up some insights, and craft a compelling argument around why we should build a certain set of tactics to solve it.
If you have worked in a creative discipline long enough, you have no doubt had to deal with a project that didn't turn out the way you hoped. There are many reasons why expectations and outcomes can become misaligned: poor client/agency communication, unable to reach consensus on key decisions, blown timelines, losing sight of the objective, spending too much time focusing on the wrong things, etc.