5 Myths About Product Development: Busted

Successful startups publish their product tips and tricks all the time. Some advice needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, however! What works for one company won’t necessarily work for another. So, here are 5 myths that need busting. Ready? Let's crack on.

Myth 1: 'Using more resources results in a faster output.'
Sometimes bigger isn't better. It's a common misconception in product development that the more resources you throw at a problem, the faster it's going to be solved. This type of logic might apply when it comes to manufacturing but it's entirely flawed when it comes to the product development process. Why? Because, unlike manufacturing, product development is a non-linear process with an often unpredictable outcome. When you use more resources you are also inevitably creating more queues of projects. That creates delays in your development cycle and increase the overall duration of the whole project.

Myth 2: 'The more features you cram into your product, the more customers will like it.'
Customers don't know what they want until they see it. This has led to the theory that the more features you cram into your product, the more desirable it becomes for your customers. Apart from the number of technical difficulties that can arise from managing such products, they offer a user experience that is far from being user friendly. It's why it's so important to test your product idea with real users first before you move into development. Thanks to their feedback you'll be able to determine what features your customers are actually willing to pay money for.

Myth 3: 'The sooner you start building , the sooner you'll launch.'
When it comes to building a product, starting sooner does not always equal an earlier launch. In fact, it's quite the contrary. Most startups get stuck in the 'build trap' - they close their eyes and start coding what they consider to be the perfect product. But when you are working on something new, it can be a huge risk spending months building an MVP without knowing if it's actually going to work. It's a surefire way to crash even the most promising of companies. Instead, you should spend time researching and testing your product idea first before committing to the final build. It's how you don't end up wasting time building the product, with the wrong features, for the wrong customers.

Myth 4: 'Stick to the plan.'
It's highly likely that the final product won't look exactly the same you had first envisioned. Things change, unforeseen problems arise - that's okay. People often blame poor planning but really it's just the nature of life. Plans are best used as loose guides. You need a route to take but if something happens along the way you need to be agile enough to react and change course. In the case of product development - planning is guessing.

Myth 5: 'There's no point in launching unless you have the perfect product...'
Having worked with startups over the last 12 years, we've seen this happen time and time again. Founders would delay their launch because they want to build the perfect product. But the truth is that perfect products simply don't exist. When you think about it, no one ever launched a perfect v1 right off the bat. So, if you sit around waiting to make your product an absolute thing of perfection you'd never ship. More importantly, you'd never get valuable insights from your users that could further improve your product and actually drive down future development costs. As Guy Kawasaki once famously said 'Don't worry - be crappy.'

So, there you have it - 5 myths about product development busted. If you want to learn more about how to avoid these common startup pitfalls or you need help validating your product idea - get in touch!

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Martin Sandhu
Founder – martin@nuom.co.uk