Build a Product That Fixes Your Customer’s Problems, Not Your Own Problems

Over a year in development. Marketing staff to create content for promotion. A development team ready to fix bugs and add functionality. Lengthy arguments as to whether or not the background should be sea foam green or something else.

Total number of users: 0. After 2 years.

The platform was built to facilitate order entry because it was a lengthy process for us to complete it. So we pushed the work onto the customer and said “you’ll love this”. ¬†Well, they didn’t love it because they didn’t care. It wasn’t their problem and it was an obvious ploy to push work on to them. The platform existed for more than two years before it was finally shut down.

Ask yourself this when building a platform or product: “Why would a customer use this?” If the answer sounds anything like “because we want them to” then you should probably not spend much more effort on it. If you need evidence, create an email campaign that points to a landing page asking people to sign up and they’ll be notified for a beta. It should tell you a lot if nobody signs up, even more if nobody clicks.