When building a product isn't enough


After months of endless coding, we were ready for applause. We had done it. The app has features on features with some more features. Everything the users could have wanted. Everything to rocket the app to the top of the Appstore.

And then we released it! .






And nothing happened…

No one liked it.

No, worse, no one used it. post thumb

But people loved the idea!

Our pitch excited people. They saw a vision of themselves using the app. They want it at its final stage. They care about what we’re building, and they’re rooting for us.

People loved the idea. Just not the app.

People cared about the product but not as a product. They were in love with the idea of being able to explore seamlessly using the knowledge of others. That’s what we sold them on. Instead, we delivered a haphazard product with layers upon layers of extraneous features that were fun to build but not to use.

Through the process of building, we forgot about our users.

post thumb

The Event

What do we do now? We built a platform, but we got a wasteland.
So we decided, if they wouldn’t come to us, we’ll go to them. We will hold a small event to get feedback and spread the app.

We head to the event with mixed feelings. The heat weighs us down as we make our way into the building. The supplies flow from our arms as sweat flows from our brows. We had built it, and now we just hoped they would come.

post thumb

And people did, small groups of friends and acquaintances. Fewer than we wanted, but we’ll make do. Everyone downloads the app and sets out to explore. This is the moment of truth. All the hard work we’ve put into the product and the myriad of features will finally get validated…

What we found were myriads of bugs, glitches, and user-unfriendly interactions.

All our bells and whistles didn’t mean much when the app’s core interactions didn’t work well. The flourishes failed to impress as users were constantly taken out of the experience. post thumb

So we failed?

Not exactly.

From the feedback we got, we understood now what the users valued. They don’t want more, they want better. People want the perfect representation of our core features: listen and guidance.

People want the perfect representation of our core features

From the event, we stumbled upon something we ignored for a long time. We had found a feedback loop. We could build in small batches, and get small feedback. We could use the user as our North Star. We could focus and experiment all in one. We decided to scratch all our ongoing projects, to completely refocus on perfecting our core features.

More importantly, we made it a goal to consistently engage with our users. To build the product they want.

Sometimes a product needs more than builders.
Sometimes a product needs people.

post thumb