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Karol Oponowicz
Oct. 13, 2019, 6:28 p.m. | Product Design

Don't Overestimate The Role Of Product Development

People tend to overestimate the role of product development. That's what I've learned over the years of building software for entrepreneurs and product owners. I guess it's partly because they are easily carried away by the possibilities the new technology brings to the table.




From my experience of participating in dozens of different project, I can say with all the confidence, that the sole product development does not decide whether a product is successful or not. The proper use of technology itself does not add much value. That's why software development definitely should not be the most expensive part of your business plan.

You have to come up with a disruptive but sound business model first - develop a product strategy, find the market segment you want to move in to, perform market research, and then think how to build a product that customers would love.

All the failed concepts have one in common

Software development companies don't like to talk about it, but each one of us has participated in countless projects that failed. There's a lot to learn from failure. The most important lesson you can take is not to repeat the same mistakes.

Wishful thinking is especially popular in projects with EU funding but also happens in ventures funded privately. "We will build our fantastic innovative product, and we'll see. Something good will happen for sure." Unfortunately, it hardly ever happens.

One group of investors had a great idea of disrupting the e-commerce sector, but they failed to establish any partnerships that would provide their product with structured data necessary to run our algorithms. Another client had a brilliant idea for an app, but the functionality turned out to be already included in the software by a dominating global platform.

Creators of the third project came up with a sophisticated B2B marketplace that sounded really interesting, nevertheless, in reality, one of the target groups was not interested in such a service. Which to be honest surprised us all, but we found about it only when the MVP was already built.

The golden rules of a successful product

I could present much more similar examples, but that's not the goal of this post. Here's a good rule of thumb for launching a successful digital product.

  1. Know your industry. If you'd like to run an online flower service, start with a traditional flower shop first. Research may not be enough. If you have no expertise in the industry, look for a partner that has the experience. It will radically improve your chance of success. Find somebody who has not only the knowledge but contacts, knows people in the sector.
  2. Plan the next step. People make the mistake of concentrating all their efforts on product development, which often goes with spending all the budget on software. You need to spend even more on marketing and sales. What's more, when you launch your first version of the product, you need to have reserves for introducing the changes and full features after receiving the feedback from your users. That's why planning a lean MVP is a good idea - it will help you control the development budget before the launch.
  3. Work on your business plan. You need to know perfectly well your revenue streams (it's better to have more than one). Even more importantly, you need to know at what scale of sales and after what time you'll achieve a positive return on investment. Write down your business plan and confront it with as many businesswise people as possible. You can't be shy with it, otherwise, you'll lose your time and money.

These are the three steps I'd recommend you to follow before hiring a software development agency, like Order Group. We want to build successful products.

Get an inside knowledge of the business, plan ahead of the launch, and polish your business plan. When you do these three, we can build an outstanding product. We'll choose the best technology, software architecture, UX and UI design, plan an agile software development process, and execute it on time and on budget.




If you provide us with sound fundaments, we'll deliver a product people will love.
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