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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.

  1. Does it solve real problems for real users?
  2. Do users use it repeatedly?
  3. 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?

  1. Make a habit of shipping your product at least every two weeks. This constraint will push you to take many right decisions.
  2. 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?

  • Posted on December 6, 2017

Comments (2)

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    Ravi P


    Great read ! My list is below

    knowing users vs. interpreting users actions : the thing that I have not been able to crack is the fact that we are assuming that users know what they want ! They will come and tell what they want as new feature. When they don’t , we assume that product is bad. However the reality is that very likely that user is not your early adopter. In my journey failures with of product, on reflection it appears that i didn’t pursue enough no. of early adopters & ended up believing that product is bad. Product is never bad, in its early stage it must meet the early adopters who has a massive pain that product solves & can scream to product manager and tell what to do next !

    We are asked in business to transact. We are not asked to empathize to listen to find that first batch of early adopters !!

    • Kuntal Shah

      Kuntal Shah

      Hey Ravi,

      Great to hear from you and glad that you like it.
      You have brought a very important point of knowing users vs. interpreting users actions. I agree that many times the product is not a bad product but interpreting users and their is the real challenge.



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