April 29, 2019

Question - Problem w/premature Scaling?

Josh @joshchoi

Does anyone else have a problem with premature scaling when building a product? As founders, a lot of the times we may not clearly understand our competitive edge in the beginning. So, the reactionary approach is to hack a bunch of features together and ship it. But the influx of features may confuse users. Is it possible to take a counter-intuitive approach for this by gradually releasing the several other features you've built over a period of time? How effective is this? How successful was this strategy?

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    That's a very hit and miss approach.

    You might be successful (a broken clock shows the right time 2x per day after all)...

    But you're more likely to be building stuff nobody wants.

    The fix is pretty simple:

    Stop pushing your product/features onto users. And start pulling your users' needs (via doing sales, customer development, user interviews) before you build anything.

    That's how you can be certain there'll be an audience waiting eagerly for your new feature (and that it'll provide them with real value).

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      @louisswiss Thanks for your response, I didn't expect to get any on this platform. What if what you're building is primarily measured by usage/retention as opposed to sales revenue? A lot of what I've been building has been social (apps) to a large degree. I've realized there's a lot of nuance behind building social applications especially — but I want to give one last shot before I graduate uni next year on this. Thanks for the advice btw.

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    I agree with @louisswiss. It’s important to get out there and talk to people, to ensure that you’re building things that people actually want.

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      @louisswiss @rickfiyah Do you guys have any tips on how an engineer can manage their time effectively between building the product and recruiting and or talking to their users?

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        Can echo the other advice given here.

        Build when you're sure of what your users need. You very rarely want to build something you don't have a group of users waiting eagerly for...

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        Dev here. It’s definitely been a struggle for me. As devs it’s easy to put our heads down and just build, without talking to anyone. My advice to you is to give yourself daily goals, and stick to them. Reach out to X number of people per day, send X amount of emails. Allot a specific number of hours to code, and a certain amount of time to outreach. That will ensure that you’re not neglecting marketing in favor of coding.