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Avoid building products that nobody wants

There is no crystal ball out there to help makers see exactly what product would sit well with consumers or not. Besides market research and studies, which by the way don’t guarantee product success in the market, entrepreneurs and business people do “bet” on their product offering oftentimes, churning out a handful of products and expecting a few to be successful.

The question now is, what about the enormous waste that accompanies this kind of process?

I have been guilty of this “waste” too, I have had to register numerous domains in the paste, set up WordPress sites and all, only to tear everything down when it became clear the ideas were flawed, not the right market, government policy blocks such, I wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of starting the business fully etc. This is obviously as a result of poor planning, which is common with Startups (who usually work as lone founders). 

A few comments from fellow indie hackers (independent creators), buttressing this “waste” issue are show below:

“I’d say I’ve purchased over 70 domains, most are expired and back on the market though but certainly a waste of time and money.” Jeff (@jch, Indie Hackers*)

“Haha just made a list of my domains and usage… What a shame. I own 8 which I still pay but the projects went to the graveyard, 5 which are still “under construction” (before launch), 6 domains that I just saved because maybe I will start some projects eventually (but don’t know yet). My complete list of online domains (but some without projects behind them) is 35…” Justin (@Harrjm, Indie Hackers*)

“The domain graveyard. Me and my business partner were actually laughing about our number of domains that started with the grandest of ideas…Same story here… I have 5 domains sitting in different states of completion. I wish there was a more structured way of avoiding the waste (that’s if you are serious about building a commercial product).” Marius Fermi (@melomal, Indie Hackers*)

However, the discussion today is focused on building the right product for the consumers. That is, all things being equal, how do you figure out the right product for the right customers?

The solution

  1. Build good product
  2. Identify the right market
  3. Talk to the customers before you build, while building and after you launch. A closed loop feedback system is required.

Addressing the first 2 points, I would say authoritatively that in terms of technical capability, over 90% of Indie Hackers are very sound and build high grade software solutions with great user experience. They don’t do badly in identifying the right market-fit. A skill most have acquired over time especially with information being available on click of a button thanks to the internet. There are also numerous professional consultants in that field to advise and guide at affordable rates. 

Now the elephant in the room remains how to know what the customers want, by asking them of course..

“One of the biggest issues that I have seen people face is that the minute they try reaching out to potential users, they get dismissed as someone advertising their product. Quite a few places now have a “No advertising” rule and ban anyone who tries to advertise their product. I’m curious to see if others have seen this and if so, then how they got around it and getting people to talk with them.” Alex Karezin (@javadiagrams, Indie Hackers*)

It’s all in the manner of approach!

“I think this depends on the industry and how you phrase the reach out. I’ve had about 20% conversion (20 people in my target market hopped on a video chat) from cold non-personalized email because I say I’m researching a problem rather than building a product.” (@maybeimtheproblem, Indie Hackers*)

Customer feedback

Customer feedback is the ultimate solution to building not just great products, but successful ones as well. the kind of products that the customers would be willing to pay for. Product built around the customer value proposition that obviously offers a lot of value and brightens the customers lives.

SuperBI

www.superbi.co

SuperBI was built just for this purpose. A customer feedback analytics platform.

A customer data platform: entrepreneurs  and business owners use SuperBI’s platform to collect, process and analyze customer feedback.

Never make a business decision without data insights!

SuperBI empowers consumers: Social Proof is the new currency for customer acquisition. Commend when you are happy, vent when you are not.Your power to drive service excellence is enormous, use it!

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