May 06, 2016

8 Rules for building Great Products

In a Medium blog, Mitchel Harper shares his thoughts on what makes great products.

1. BFBC - Build For your Best Customers

They bring you most revenue and are willing to pay for upgrades and newer products. Give a higher weight age for their feedback.

2. Solve Tier I Problems

Tier I - One of top 3 problems of potential customers. If  you are solving a Tier I problem you will have the Customers' attention and budget spend. The rest are Vitamins - "nice to have fixed" problems.

3. Build 'simple to understand' products

Design is your most important feature. Every time the user experience is great, a startup's revenue grow like weed.

4. Make a cupcake

Most startups try to build the wedding cake (the big final product) on their first iteration instead of starting small with a cupcake, then turning it into a cake (based on customer feedback) and then finally into a wedding cake (again, based on customer feedback).

4. Prioritize Customer Feedback and make Themed releases

Instead of a sprinkle of small improvements, you will be making one big improvement which will be felt by more customers.

5. Outsource non-core activities

Startups have a better shot at winning when they are extremely focused on a single mission — and anything that gets in the way should be delegated. Necessary business processes that doesn’t differentiate you from your competition should be outsourced to an agency or third party provider. 

6. Manage costs & runway

When you build anything new, it’s tempting to just think about the initial cost to build, source or manufacture the product. What trips most founders up, though, is the ongoing cost to sustain that product once it’s live. Great products takes years of iteration based on customer feedback to generate that kind of revenue, which of course needs to be funded from somewhere — either profits or investors.

7. Be ruthless in tracking metrics

Running a startup is like flying a plane. If you can’t read the instruments, even for a few minutes, the plane probably won’t be flying for much longer.

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