Building a product requires real, customer feedback. The problem is that most organizations (even startups) don’t get enough feedback before they launch.
Consequently, they build something that customers don’t actually use and the result is a half-baked product.
Building a system to capture this early feedback is a lot harder than it sounds because that requires an early commitment to building a community around the concept and idea and most folks who build product are not also good at building community (and maintaining it).
But it’s worth it and ensuring that you have the best product at launch that folks with use (and love) is the reason you build a product in the first place. And that requires an early feedback loop. That requires real, concerted, effort to build community.
A relevant example is Yen.io, which in many ways wouldn’t come into existence if it wasn’t for customer feedback. As we’ve built community (via YouTube, a forum, and more) we’ve collected this feedback and they’ve helped direct our path toward a product that is needed and wanted.
The crazy thing is that even with that feedback we all still may be wrong! That’s kind of the magic and mystery of building new products. Frustrating, but, that’s the reality.