Without talking to your customers, it’s impossible to build a great product.
In fact, the number one reason startups fail is a product that the market didn’t really need, and the best way to prevent building something people don’t like is to talk to your customers a lot.
If we break the design process into simple steps, it looks something like this:
- Figure out what people want
- Try making it
- See if they like it
(Repeat until it’s good)
Steps #1 and #2 are commonly done in startups. User research! Customer discovery! Figma prototypes!
Step #3, however, is shockingly absent from pretty much every early stage product company I’ve ever worked with. Instead, these teams jump immediately to coding their ideas without ever watching a customer try to use it, spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, financially their company.