Jan-Lukas Else

Thoughts of an IT expert

Nothing Kills a Product Like Ego

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Short link: https://b.jlel.se/s/36f
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Your product is failing, because you’re too focused…

… on your own needs. But not on the needs of your users and customers!

You’re sitting in front of your work station, thinking about what other features you could add to your product (or app, whatever), to make it even better. Better in your way of seeing it. Not the way your customers do.

Almost every app has the potential to become something great, everyone needs, everyone will rely on. Take an example:

Allo, Google’s much hyped messenger, failed. Yes we can say it failed, because unlike most other Google products, it didn’t really get attention after it’s launch. Just the hypetrain was satisfied and after that the app store ranking decreased non-stop until the app completely disappeared from this list.

But why?

No new messaging app can really compete with WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat & Co. from the first day on. They need to make the users believe, that this new app will be better one day. They can just do this, by showing love to the users, hear to the community and be at least a bit transparent about coming features.

Allo didn’t fail at all of this points but at most of them. It’s lead developer seemed to listen to the community and tweeted some of the wishes users had. Great so. But it just took TOO long for them to finally arrive in the app. And the version numbers just increased too fast, without any special new things.

That made the community (the users) stop believing in it. Ok, some of them still do believe, but the amount of people became extremely smaller. Most former believers don’t think, that new features will come at all and that the app will be better than it’s competitors one day.

Sad story.

Or another example:

Do you still remember Yahoo? This company was actually very popular. Before they failed. They just cared about their ads instead of what the users really want. They added more and more advertisements everywhere and missed to add a real search to their web index. And so one day Google was just better and peopled stopped using the former web giant and used the product buy this new start-up called Google, which is just displaying unobtrusive ad texts instead of big colorful banners.

It’s now time to rethink, what you’re doing regarding your project. Are you really listening to it’s users, especially the hard core ones? Or do you ignore most of them and just do, what YOU want?

You shouldn’t care about EVERY of your users, because there are many, who just try to complain, because they like to complain, but listen to the ones, who are really interested in your product.

It’s time to act!

If you’re selling a product, start calling your customers and start talking about your product, about their wishes, about how they use it. If you’re an app developer, start reading the reviews and answer to them, ask what your users want and how they want it. Or just send a friendly email to your users and ask them to complete a survey, in which you don’t use the default five choice possibilities, but an empty text field instead.

Watch your competitors…

…see, what they are doing, see how they are doing it and if they do it successfully.

Just some ideas, of how to rescue your product, so that it’ll become the market leader one day…


Jan-Lukas Else
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