The formula for building a successful software product is a mixture of having the right idea, execution, timing, money as well as what the competing products are. 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months, at least according to Bloomberg.
To have a better chance of success you need to focus on running a business and not on the technical side of the equation. Product success has nothing to do with the specific technology that’s being used. Your product success depends on whether or not your future customers have specific needs that your product covers and whether or not they are willing to pay for it. That being said, you still need to find people who can build the product, but that’s critical only in the sense that you need to gather feedback.
Your MVP serves for pinpointing the target. You can look at it as if it were tracer ammunition.
Product is a neccessity but not enough to make everything tick. If you fail during the building (easiest) part, then nothing else will ever even get the chance of stealing limelight.
Entrepreneurs often dream about perfecting existing idea and building them in a better way, so that everyone else can jump ship from whatever they were doing before and break out their wallet. This is universally true, but more so for technical people. However, this assumption is untrue.
Now’s time for a reality check i.e. obstacles you’ll be facing:
People don’t care
People don’t care enough to pay
There is something else (or in other words, any other product already being used)
You have no idea what people REALLY need
You lack power of will/persistence and the ability to push through
You are being a copycat and not being yourself
Here is the thing – when you listen to some song on the radio you can instantly tell if you like the song or not. Sometimes a lot of people likes the same song. It is something that is pretty obvious once the song is out, but hard to guess otherwise.
My point being, in order to fine tune your product you need real life feedback. To have real life feedback you need to have real the thing already built. Which is where Minimum Viable Product (MVP) comes into play.
Getting the right balance between getting something out and making it good enough to gather feedback is an art form and sometimes just pure luck. The balance is usually not where you think it is. Based on my experience you can get away with a lot of corner-cutting as long as you get main thing right. People only care about new things you bring to the table, not the nitty gritty details. Cutting out the fluff will save your money and empower you to pivot better, faster and cheaper.
This will be a multipart series based on trials and tribulation faced while building products.
In the part of this series we’ll talk about why people don’t care and what to do about it…