12 min read

Top 7 Mistakes Startups Make With Product Development

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Understanding several mistakes that occur repeatedly during the product development process is critical in order to avoid them in the future and achieve the best results. The decision-making process is a critical component in the development of a product. It entails not just choosing the correct course, but also recognizing when and how to prevent expensive mistakes, especially during the early stages.
Identifying challenges early in the process of creating start-ups and anticipating problems allows you to reduce expenses and costs of bad consequences when everything does not go as planned. This is why, in this article, we are going to highlight the top 7 most common mistakes people make with product development. These suggestions have been carefully selected for you and they will probably help you avoid further mistakes in the future. So let’s get into it.

Choosing Bad Developers

There are several reasons why choosing bad developers for your start-up project might be considered a big mistake. First of all, the significant thing is that hiring a developer who does not have a lot of experience and good enough skills might reduce the quality of the product development process and increase the time it takes to complete a certain type of task.
Besides, in those cases, the money spent is usually just wasted since you will have to hire another programmer to do the same job better. Such a messy code is generally very difficult to comprehend and is often needlessly huge and complicated, to the point that others will struggle to grasp what the programmer is doing, making it a headache to maintain. This means that the overall productivity of the project will suffer a great deal.
Choosing bad programmers can also become the reason for the late launch of the product. The bad coding might distract the overall launching process and after all, you will have to delay the launch date in order to improve the product quality in the first place.

Lack of Customer Insights

Lack of Customer Insights

Another essential factor that should also be avoided in the process of product development is user feedback. Customer insight can undoubtedly help businesses in successfully launching desired and necessary products and services in the marketplace. Customer feedback is a vital and abundant source of new ideas that may guarantee your innovation process is in line with their present and future demands.
Customers can also provide you with a comprehensive analysis of the products and services, as well as information regarding their strengths and flaws. When you begin to listen to your clients, you are going to understand their expectations about the certain product, allowing you to promote future developments. Besides, by listening to them, you will also be able to save time and money that might otherwise be wasted on ineffective project management activities.
This is why not listening to user feedback might cause a lot of problems in product development. First of all, just moving on to other projects without considering customer insights may result in a product that is not a good match for the market. Besides, it also will make it much harder for a certain product to improve and get better results in the long-run period. Moreover, lack of customer feedback might interfere with the process of identifying the particular features that are most significant to your clients. That way you can wind up with a product that no one else will buy except you.

Choosing Wrong Stack

To complete a task, each developer will employ a different collection of tools. Because there are always several tools available to execute a certain activity, you would like to ensure that the instruments picked by your development team suit your requirements in order not to choose the wrong stack. Finding the ideal technology platform for a project is really rewarding. You will eventually wind up with a flexible development cycle that can adapt to changing company demands, programmer skill levels, and available resources. On the other hand, wrong tech stack selections can cause plenty of issues.
If you chose the wrong stack for your project there is a great chance that you would have to pay more maintenance costs. Choosing a system that does not adapt properly or rises in price too quickly as your project continues will need more expenditures on your part. Furthermore, switching one integration with another in later phases of development necessitates massive amounts of rework.
Another reason why selecting the wrong stack may be an issue is that an old technology might be difficult to sustain in the future. The age of technology is full of uncertainty, as new innovations arise while others fade away. Nonetheless, for large-scale projects, sticking with the newest technology is frequently the safest decision that you can make.

Bad Prioritization of the Backlog

Another thing that should be considered in the process of product development is the prioritization of the Backlog tasks. When there are hundreds of activities in the backlog list, it might be tough to determine which one is the most significant. It is critical to prioritize the backlog in order to avoid it becoming an endless list of every weird opinion someone has about the product. Your backlog should be organized and managed to prioritize the most strategically critical tasks for your group to do.
Prioritization of Backlog should definitely include customer insights. Future customers are interviewed in person by the project managers. It provides them with a thorough grasp of their objectives, their history with the particular product, and the obstacles they face. This data will provide project managers with ideas about how to prioritize the items in the backlog list. Otherwise, they might not be able to perfectly identify which task is the top priority for them at the given time.
In order to avoid bad product backlog prioritization, another thing that should be used in this process is the Value versus Effort matrix that supports decision-making by recognizing what is critical and where resources should be directed.

Late launch

“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late,’’ said Reid Hoffman (the creator of LinkedIn).
Another pitfall that might emerge while creating your start-up is launching it late. No one will really remember how terrible your product was the very first day you launched it if your business is successful right now. You should never be concerned with creating anything aesthetically pleasing; instead, focus on creating something that your potential customers will love.
The longer you wait to place your product into the hands of clients, the longer it will take to achieve product-market fit. The only way to achieve this is to bring your product to the actual users, figure out where it fails to fulfill the demand of these customers, adjust your product to attempt to satisfy those needs, release those adjustments to consumers, and then repeat the cycle. This is a never-ending iterative process. You should remember that you are never going to be completely prepared, and your product will also never be flawless. This is why launching it as soon as possible will make your start-up grow fast and reach the product-market fit sooner in case of launching it at an earlier stage.

Wrong Target Audience

Another common mistake that Startups Make With Product Development is choosing the wrong target audience. When the number of visits to your webpage increases while the number of real clients decreases, you have a problem. Businesses that target the incorrect audience will have more individuals visiting their website than actually purchasing from it.
Identifying a target audience enables you to concentrate on your marketing in the most cost-effective manner possible. Start by precisely identifying your product or service, followed by outlining the individual or business that will benefit from what you have to provide. Analyzing customer demands is also very critical in this process. You should have conducted thorough market research, such as holding a focus group, analyzing industry evaluations, or conducting a market survey, which is going to reveal exactly how you can satisfy customers’ desires.
It's impossible to comprehend who you are trying to reach out to and how you can help them with your product without first connecting to them. This is why choosing the right audience is extremely important. You can use email or social media platforms where you will be able to ask open or close questions to your potential customers. As you filter your target audience, you will be able to better understand their needs and better support them with your product.

Spending Too Many Resources

As we have already mentioned, in order to reach product-market fit you will have to go through a long iterative process. This is important because every iteration allows you to understand something new about your product or your actual users. Generally, 27 iterative steps are required in order to achieve product-market fit, meaning to make your clients really love your product. However, these iterations require a lot of time as well as resources that you might not have at the given time. This is why spending resources with care is extremely essential in the process of product development especially when it comes to spending money.
A great example of saving money for every start-up company would be hiring the appropriate and affordable developers with a salary that would be suitable for your financial objectives. If you only need someone to design a website, for instance, you might not need a full-time employee.
Outsourcing your programming to a place where lower pay is allowed might be a solid, low-cost option for your business. You do not have to hire programmers on a long-term basis, and if you have a solid connection with them, you'll most likely have a resource to rely on in the future as necessary. That way you will save a lot of money and will manage to reach product-market fit in a more efficient way.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Biggest Mistake Startups Make?

One of the biggest mistakes that startups usually make is choosing the bad developer. Hiring a developer with insufficient expertise and abilities may decrease the quality of the product development process and extend the time it takes to complete a certain type of activity. Choosing the wrong programmers might also result in the product being released late.

What kind of Mistakes should be Avoided in Developing a New Product?

While developing a product one of the major mistakes that should be avoided is not considering the customer insights. Customer input is an important and plentiful source of fresh ideas that may ensure your innovation process is in line with their current and future needs. Customers may also give you a thorough analysis of the products and services, and also information on their advantages and flaws.

What is the Most Common Mistake Found in Products?

One of the most common mistakes that are found in the process of the development of a product is choosing the wrong technology or stack to work on. If you select the incorrect stack for your project, you will almost certainly incur additional maintenance expenditures. Choosing a system that does not adapt adequately or that increases in price too rapidly as your project progress will need more expenditures on your side.

What are the Top Mistakes Startups Typically Make?

Identifying obstacles early in the process of building start-ups enables you to save money and avoid negative effects when things don't go as planned. The top 7 most common mistakes that startups typically make with Product development are considered to be the following: Choosing Bad Developers, Lack of Customer Insights, Choosing the Wrong Stack, Bad prioritization of backlog, Late launch, choosing the wrong target audience, and spending too many resources.



Written by Keti Getiashvili

Based on an interview with Ilia Chigogidze

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