4 reasons why most founders build bad products and how you can build better products

March 1, 2022

4 min read

after working with a lot of founders and watching them build and launch failed products numerous times I've collected some insights into why most founders build bad products and how you can avoid it. Hope the article helps you.

They start with the solution and not the problem

Founders, especially first-time founders often fall in love with their ideas and they think the idea is special but in reality, the market doesn't care about your idea in fact no one does. What often happens is an entrepreneur has an idea that they imagine can be used to solve a vague problem that “everyone” experiences and they go into the caves and work on the idea for a long time, if the founder has money they might hire an agency or a team to work on this idea. The idea often tries to do everything for everyone. All the while they have no idea what exactly the problem is and sure enough, after the launch, if they even launch, they are met with 0 users, 0 interest in the product and they wonder why. The problem is as a founder you have to be obsessed with the problem and not your idea. The solution can change but the goal is to solve a problem big enough that people can pay for it to be solved. Focus on the problem, not the solution.

They don't understand user behavior

The way people behave on apps or the internet is truly a course of study on its own but it's important to have an understanding of how users might behave so you can make better products.

keep it simple

Make it very very easy for the user to take the action they are meant to take. Think about what is the most important part of your product and focus on that, make it easy and clear for the users to take action and cut out the fat. Take uber for example the first thing you see when opening the app is “where are you going” very big and clear.

Don't stress your users... please

Another common mistake founders make is that they expect users to do a lot of complicated actions with no real reward. A classic example is thinking users would help you do fieldwork of scanning items, bar-codes, etc. avoid making the user take more than 5 steps or clicks maximum to achieve their goal.

Create delightful experiences

This basically comes down to having good UX in your product and making it easy and rewarding for the user that interacts with your product. So you have to think about every action your user takes and how you plan to reward them. What happens when they click a button, make a payment, like a tweet, order a ride. What about that experience can be memorable and delightful if you can think about this I assure you that your product would be better.

They over-engineer and never launch

Ah, this problem should probably be number one, but every single founder in the history of time underestimates how long it actually takes to build a product and this is often because of over-engineering. This often leads to products that never launch because a stable build is never reached. I have met a lot of founders and developers who that believe using tools, libraries that make development easier and faster somehow means they are not building a good enough product that can “scale”. When in reality they don't have a single user. How can you be worrying about scale when you have no users? Do you even realize how far that bridge is? and most of these tools CAN scale. So please just build fast and launch.

They don't use data to optimize after launch

This is for the few founders that actually manage to launch something, for some reason they are scared to look at the data and optimize certain aspects of their startup. You see a startup is meant to be lean and agile and must be willing to make little improvements and pivots over time before it actually hits product-market fit and the only way to do this is to look at the data and actually take action on it. If you can improve your product but just 1% each week but by the end of the year you would have a very awesome product. So it's important to install analytics and track key events as a founder.

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