Research, Release Early, Fail Fast!

You did your customer research, more research, and then more research. 

You developed a roadmap and set milestones, which are intermediate goals to help you get from ideation to some future point.  The reality of roadmaps however, is they should change based on market demands – “pivot points.”

You may have a great product idea with a solid roadmap, but if customers don’t like it or demand features you’ve never thought of… you would be very wise to modify the roadmap.

Many successful startups are the result of “release early and release often” methodology.  Where the founder did not wait to have a fully developed product.  Instead, she or he got something into the marketplace in order to collect feedback and input on how to improve the product. 

When you’re an early-stage startup, you must continually improve on your product or service.  Think about what may happen if your initial roadmap is based on incorrect assumptions.

You could end up with a product no one wants… or worse.  You burn through all of your cash and no longer have the funds to pivot!

The best way to avoid this problem is customer research, more research, and more research.  Then build and release early, before your product is complete… and collect feedback along the way. 

Based on customer feedback you may need to modify your roadmap… but at least you’ll be on the right path before it’s too late.

Comments

  1. Rainer says

    I was at your lean startup meetup and you preached this same doctrine there. Is doing as much customer research as you advocate really all that?

    • D.K. says

      Angels look at around three dozen companies for each one they invest in. Many more startups would get funded if they did a better job with customer research and validation (based on my experience performing investor due diligence).

      Since you’re putting in that much time anyway… you might as well increase your odds of getting funded.

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