Making a tech product is an exciting process. But, as products like Microsoft Bob – which was a living room product developed by Microsoft back in the mid-1990s – demonstrate, getting it right isn’t easy. One of the biggest problems that tech companies encounter is the fact that costs overrun, destroying the profitability of the final product,
You don’t want your product to end up like Microsoft Bob. To build a better tech product, avoid these mistakes.
You Use “The Waterfall Approach” To Development
Most projects in business progress from conception to analysis, to design and then on to construction and production. Because of its sequential nature, this process is often called the waterfall process to development. Technology and software companies have borrowed this methodology from other industries because of how well it works there. But in technology projects, things never work out quite the way that you expect them to. Often you’ll get feedback mid-way through development suggesting that the product you’re designing isn’t actually what customers want. It’s a much better idea, therefore, to use so-called “agile development” which allows for a far more flexible production process.
Not Testing Prototypes Before Building
Many businesses and startups are keen to make things happen as quickly as possible. After all, the longer products are in development, the more money companies have to borrow, and the more their investors start breathing down the back of their neck. As a result, many businesses fail to test their products properly. For this reason, it’s a good idea to build prototype versions first, and then use a test case management tool to track whether early versions are working as they should be. Skipping out the prototyping and testing process can ultimately end up costing companies a lot of money.
Building Blindly, Without Consulting Users
It doesn’t matter how well you think you know your users, you probably don’t know them well enough. Many tech developers who have already created one successful product think that if they create a slightly improved newer version of that product, it’ll have the same success. But, unfortunately, user preferences don’t remain static for long. In fact, they can change because of the features your last product offered. With this in mind, a better strategy is to use some sort of a mapping tool to better understand your users. You want to know what it is that makes them tick, what they liked about your last product, and what they really want from the next. Just guessing will only get you to the right answer a small fraction of the time.
Launching Too Late
We all know that some tech products can be in development for an eternity. Computer games, especially, can have development cycles that run on and on.
The problem with this is that the world of technology moves on very quickly. One minute, you’ve got a product that provides a fantastic solution; the next, your product is obsolete because the entire market has moved on. Yes, it can be tempting to wait until your product has all the bells and whistles before launch, but often a “minimum loveable product” will do.