As an Ideator, we all have ambitions in building a Highly Successful Product which could be used by large users, However, when we start working towards it, we quickly realize that path is more crooked than what we thought it would be.Here are 7 things I wish I knew before setting up to launch my first product :
1. You can never get there alone: Agreed it is your Idea, to begin with, and you would want as much credit and profits from it come back to you. Yet, you would soon realize that your area of expertise in the whole scheme of things, is limited to One or Two fields. Hence, it is essential that you find humans who would compliment you, and be able to provide strong force in launching your product. Mutual Trust is the key aspect here, To get something, you have to give something.
2. It is not about the latest technology but about the sturdiest one: When we set out to build our product, we are inclined to use latest technologies. We want our product to have the very attractive user interface that the latest technologies offer. However, soon as we start using them to build we realize the support for these technologies is limited and they don't have much to offer when we need to customize based on our needs. It is essential that you have some understanding of technology stack to be used based on the value proposition of your products.
3. Mock-Ups are Super Crucial: Sometimes we are tempted to start immediately based on a spark of an idea we may have. However, It is essential to understand the full user flow of your product. Hence, creating wireframes/ mockups, with every minute detail and features is essential to understand the final product. Always counter question each feature and user step. Its essential that your product is easy to use for the end user yet it achieves to solve the user's problem
4. It is Not as Easy as it looks: Especially as a first time Product developer, I thought the build time for my product should be 2 months max, as the product needed assembling and integration of features already developed elsewhere., we were just offering a different spin. It is only when we got building that we realized we are in for a rather long build time.Building a web product needs a sleek front end and solid defensible backend technologies. You must aim to make your code as comprehensive as possible.Be Prepared for long days and late nights to solve the bugs and issues which will crop up
5. Lean Way is The Smart Way: The biggest disappointment one can face is when we when toil hard to complete our product, only to find there are no users.Hence, I recommend to fill up the LEAN StartUp Canvas, which forces you to question all aspects of your product including the commercial aspects. Using Metrics to keep track of your progress and product launch strategy keeps your nervous apprehensions at bay :)
6. Consistency is Super Power: One of the problems I faced when I set out when I got working was there would be days I would and days I wouldn't.Hence I kept losing the flow I had built over a period of Days. It is been my biggest challenges to get stuff done on a consistent basis.I really hope you develop a consistent work life which is able to ride through high tides and the low tides during your product development.
7. It doesn't have to be great but should get the job done: In our quest to make a successful product we often work towards perfection. We must realize that no product on day 1 can aim to replicate a Google or Facebook level experience. Products evolve with time and user feedback, hence instead aiming to provide a hyper level experience, focus on getting all the scenes in your Product, fall in sequence with crisp editing along the way.
Always remember Product Development and Launch is a lifelong journey, so be excited all along the way even when things go wrong. I have often believed the consistent and focus product developers come through with a successful product!
Best of Luck!