Shift focus away from technology when building software products

I am deeply fascinated by the opportunities in software products. The limitations often seen in business modeling in traditional companies are more or less gone working with software companies.

The technological development seen in hardware and software has been enourmous. We all got that very fast internet connections and at the same time we got a general population that embraces new solutions as if it were candy. 

But make no mistake - in todays market the skill-set required to build a successful digital product has increased substantially. This is due to much better customer understanding in the software companies, and also much higher usability requirements from the customers (developers, companies, partners and end users).

Working with startups we see many potentially great software ideas. There are however a few very classical mistakes that kills this potential.

  • Lack of understanding of your cusomers need and the market.
  • Not understanding that the technlogy is only a part of what you are doing (you´re here to make a great product and company).
  • Not embracing the risks in initiating waterfall projects.

The above may seem obvious, but are however major risks found in many startups, often driven by the fact that the founders very often are great technologists, but often with reduced experience and understanding of the market and the product- and company building process.

Please make sure your product building process shifts your focus somewhat away from technology. The market are not looking for new technology, it´s looking for new solutions and products.

When developing your product you want to get to the market fast. Interact with the customers and continuously launch improved versions of your product. Change direction fast if needed.

My advice for a digital startup is to get help understanding the methodology of digital product development and company building. If you fail to adress this your product and company will not succeed.

I am not a digital product maker myself, but I have had the pleasure of working with some great product developers. I promise you that embracing and implementing a great product building process will increase your likelihood of success and get you in a revenue earning situation way faster.

Author: Jon Endre Gjærum, Managing Partner