One of the most counterintuitive lessons that I’ve learned about startups is that most features don’t matter. Having learned this lesson the hard way and talked with lots of startups founders, I can confidentially say that the vast majority of startup founders can’t pinpoint the one feature that their customers will love and can’t imagine launching a new product that’s not fully-featured.
I believe that these founders are feeling one (or more) of these things...
They believe that their product will be so valuable to their customers that launching with just one feature doesn’t make sense. Why not launch with all 20 major features out-of-the-gate if customers are going to love the offering from the very start?
They see incumbents operating at scale (with millions of users) and think they need all of those features to compete.
They can’t pinpoint the one feature that will be the most magical to their customers, so they need to launch with dozens of features to make sure they cover all of their bases.
As someone who has thought all of these things with my own startups, here’s how I think about new product strategy for startups…
I never assume that my first product will have product-market fit. More here and here.
In order for a startup to threaten the market of an incumbent or better funded startups, there has to be a high level of focus. More on this here.
And most importantly, I believe that all new/big things in the world need a very unique point-of-view. If your point-of-view is truly unique and customers need your offering, you’ll see very early demand. Often without ever building any product. More on this topic here.
In this podcast/video, the CEO one of the biggest real estate startups in the country discusses why most features don’t actually matter.
Get Right to the Lesson
I’d recommend listening to the entire thing, but to get right to the point go to minute 7:04 of this podcast/video.
Thanks to these folks for helping us all learn faster
Glenn Kelman (@glennkelman), CEO of Redfin (@Redfin)
This Week In Startups (@TWistartups )
Jason Calacanis (@jason)
Jacqui Deegan (@jacqKD)
Jacob Beemer (@jacobbeemer)
Please let me and others know what you think about this topic
Email me privately at email@example.com or let's discuss publicly at @davempayne.
Real Founder Lessons
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