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Discussion on: How to Design Great Software Products in Small Startups

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Kane Ong

After joining a few startups and being in their product design cycle, here is the common mistakes I found:

  1. Development starts before market research.

    • I have seen many founders prioritize action and deliverables, but their assumptions are not lining up with the market. Most of the effort can be saved by knowing the market better.
  2. Getting pilot users at the later stage of development.

    • Similar reason as above, pilot users can tell you a lot of their expectations, which can save you tons of development effort and aligning your assumption. Their opinions are more valuable than full-fledged features of your product.
  3. Having a strong vision by neglecting advice.

    • I have seen founders talking with their background and success story, but falling into the pitfalls that I advised in the first week.
    • A profound voice will turn mute eventually because an employee may not spend too much time arguing with founders. Just remember that your employees have better options if things go sour, but your business may not be.
  4. Process-oriented but not goal-oriented, or the opposite.