Would You Use It?

Garden Shears Shaving LegsWhenever you’re building a company, you should always ask yourself: “Would I use this?” I don’t mean, would you use the product/service if you were your intended target market. I mean would you use this product if you weren’t building it? If you wouldn’t, what makes you think you’re the best person to figure out the features or to know when you’re going in the wrong direction?

That isn’t to say that you can’t build a product that you wouldn’t normally use. It’s just much harder and more likely that you will fail without the right experiences and insights into the problem you are trying to solve. Without intimate knowledge of the problem, you could arrive at a solution that would sound good in theory, but prove to be nearly unworkable in practice. Or maybe it is workable, but maybe not in the way your customers would be comfortable using it.

If you’re convinced that you have to solve a problem that you don’t currently have, make sure you research the problem thoroughly and speak to and take the advice of your target audience all through the process. Better yet, find a co-founder or team that has the problem that you are attempting to solve. That will give you a much better perspective on what you are building and prevent you from going down the wrong path for too long before making a correction.  Don’t let hubris cloud your judgement and make you think you are the right person to solve every problem.

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