Ideas and Validation November 25, 2020

If you develop a product that you also use yourself, how do you balance user feedback vs your own needs in the very early phase?

lgrammel

I'm developing a product for software maintenance, and as a next step I want to get it to a point where I can use it myself (dogfood it).

How important is using your product yourself? How do you balance user input and your own impression / needs?

  1. 3

    I am here for this question. This is very much what Dendri.com is. Im using it in my firm with my team of 15 and have a few beta testers (just launched last week). Basically had to stop my roadmap and decided to launch a beta that has fewer features than what I'm using live (nerfed the automation and document generation because they're just ugly and not user friendly) and working on the core task workflow.

    I think it's important to focus on those common features and not overthink the stuff you need. At least, that's what I'm trying to do. Also having a dozen people using it daily, I'm trying to keep their own feature-requests at bay while we get more input from outside. This is a tough question though. Hard to validate an idea without that confirmation bias.

    1. 1

      Thanks, this is very helpful!

      If I understand correctly,

      1. your team uses it daily with a broader feature set than what's publicly available
      2. you limit how much internal feature requests drive the roadmap and strive for balance and commonalities

      This makes a lot of sense to me, I think I'll try a similar approach. I like using it to remove bugs & make sure it's robust, and to get a better sense of the value.

      1. 2

        exactly right. The app handles everything a law firm would need, but the beta is focused on the task management workflow which has some unique aggregation features. Document and process management are pretty well saturated and so I'm trying to focus on the things that trello or their current task platform can't do and make that part perfect.

  2. 2

    In the very early stage I don't try to balance it at all. I build exactly what I want, since I'm the one using it.

    If others start using it as well too, over time I add features and make changes based on their requests.

    1. 1

      Thanks, that's a good perspective! I now changing the product so I can actually use it myself (before it only supported JavaScript, even tho I'm developing in TypeScript). Maybe this will give me a better insight into it's actual value and it's rough edges.

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