Having the best product doesn’t entitle you to success.

I’m not even putting it to the litmus test of whether or not it is ‘the best’.

This is what your business journey looks like (Pic Credit)
  1. You can’t help being a little bit biased about the product. If you are the ‘first’, then you launched a product to solve a particular pain-point you can see in the market. And you have launched a product that YOU think solves that pain point. For the sake of brevity, let us ignore a number of questions here. Questions like — Is this pain-point a real issue for a critical mass of users?
  2. If you designed your product based on the issues you see in your usage of a competing product, then once again — in all likelihood, you are basing your product based on what you think the right product should look like. It may or may not be true for a larger percentage of the audience. I am not a huge fan of handles on the kitchen cabinets. So when I was getting mine made, I made it a point to keep it free of any and all kinds of handles. I like the neat look it gives. It mattered to me, but that is ME AS A PERSON. My choice is great here, since it is for my own personal consumption and usage. It may be a terrible choice for a wider set of audience.
  3. You may not have collected feedback from many ‘actual’ users of your product. Your friends, family, girlfriend and roommates are not the real users. They would always have some bias — in either direction. You need to understand how the real real users of your product feel about it. And don’t get a herd opinion. Don’t let the opinion of one person corrupt the feedback of the five sitting next.
  4. You may have collected feedback from MANY users. Remember, too many cooks spoil the broth. If you go around asking people what more can you do, you would have 100 more feature requests by the end of day 1. You may think that your product would be amazing now since you have listened to your users, but in reality you would be left with a hot mess of features. Instead of asking people what more they want from the product, try to understand how they are interacting with the product and using it.
  5. A good design ≠ A good product. A common misconception — to have a great product, you need an amazing design. You don’t actually. You need an amazing user experience. And user experience is a sum-total of a lot of things ranging from how intuitive and easy to use your product is, and all the way to how good your post-sales support is.

WHY NOT?

There is a lot more that goes into making a concept a business than just having a product. The cyber war incident I mentioned — the entrepreneur who picked up the fight had an app with 1,000+ installs; the competitor who had allegedly copied the feature had more than a million installs on playstore alone. The competitor had spent time, energy and money in building an engaged community, and now was adding a feature for its users. Whether that feature was copied or not is (1) not that much critical, (2) something we can’t say with certainty. (Because no one can be arrogant enough to think they are the only ones who came up with an idea. Even at the time of the electricity race going on between Tesla and Edison, they were far from being the only two people trying to achieve the unthinkable at the time.)

The team behind the business (not just the product)

There is a reason why investors value the founding team so much. They are the ones who are leading the business. They are the ones with the grand vision, and even if that vision is short-sighted and evolves with time, it would be their responsibility to shape that new vision and overcome the challenges that will come along the way into pivoting to the new business.

How you handle your successes and failures

They are both important. You may hit the sweet spot with your users today, but if you get competent with that, your business won’t grow. So, more than obstacles and failures, successes would be challenging you into growing your business fast. Why? Because you want to leverage the current momentum to get some more headway.

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Abhishek Anand

Helping businesses grow 10x faster, and scale efficiently. Top Writer — Quora, Medium. Drop in a line if you’d like help with yours. mail@abyshake.com