A product vision aims to describe the future state of a product. It is the core essence of the product. Ideally, the product vision will serve as a guide for the stakeholders, as it will remind them of the general direction the product should be taking, and the common objectives within the team.
With a product vision statement, roadmapping becomes a lot easier, too. If you start with a clearly defined vision, you can translate that vision into an action-plan. Once you have an action-plan, you can break it down even further and develop a comprehensive development plan.
All-in-all, product vision gives direction, motivation, and makes prioritization a lot more simple.
All of the biggest brands around the world have developed a product vision statement. Here are some of the more popular:
Amazon - To be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Apple - To bringing the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.
Disney - To be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.
As you can see, each product vision statement above clearly defines the direction each brand is taking with their product or service. Each one focuses on their desire for the future state of their product, and their common objective is always to make decisions that bring them closer to that state.
It is important to start a new product with a vision. It is very likely, however, that the product vision will be tweaked or even completely changed overtime. Regardless of the industry, product, and team, a new product should always start with a clearly defined product vision statement.