Today we see many startups working towards building technology products. According to my recent conversation with one of the data research companies, every week they add almost 3000 startups to their database. I am sure there will be a similar or more number of startups closing down. This is not only true for startups but many small to large enterprises also fail in their digital product initiatives.
According to you, what can be the top reason for this?
Not using cutting edge technology?
Not following a right Process?
According to me one of the top reasons is not having a great product.
I believe any product having Yes to following 3 questions is a great product.
- Does it solve real problems for real users?
- Do users use it repeatedly?
- Does user refer other users to use your product?
I know it’s easier said than done. Many of you have heard this before.
How do we miss out on them, while we are developing products. I have come across two common misconceptions that lead to building a bad product.
1. I know what user wants.
Many a times, the Founder assumes that she knows everything about the end user and does a lot of guesswork on her behalf. She does not give enough weight to customer research and does not spend enough time talking to real customers. Gone are the days when you make something and user is forced to use it. The user is right there in the center of your business and you need to continuously keep learning from her. This is not true if you are building a product for yourself.
Brian Chesky “Founder of AirBnB” quoted in this podcast.
“Your Product Roadmap is in your user’s mind.”
2. I will ship once everything is ready.
This mindset hurts the user validation loop. This also leads you to build a bloated product, which may not have any real user and you will realise it after you have invested a lot of time and money.
Check out “Imperfect is perfect” from Mark Zuckerberg in this podcast.
Now what to do to avoid this?
- Make a habit of shipping your product at least every two weeks. This constraint will push you to take many right decisions.
- As a Founder, spend 30-50% time with your end users. Do not focus only on developing product. Think about why would someone use my product from day 1?
If you want a more detailed and thorough answer I suggest you read “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. It will give you a very clear idea on how to go about these things.
What according to you contributes most to building a bad product?