One of the biggest possible wastes of time and effort, and the reason for countless failed startups, is when a team designs and builds a product—testing usability, testing reliability, testing performance, and doing everything they think they're supposed to do—yet, when they finally release the product, they find that people won't buy it.
Even worse, it's not like they sign up for a trial in significant numbers, but then for some reason don't decide to buy. We can usually recover from that. It's that they don't even want to sign up for the trial. That's a tremendous and often fatal problem.
You might experiment with pricing, positioning, and marketing, but you eventually conclude that this is just not a problem people are concerned enough about.
The worst part of this scenario is that, in my experience, it's so easily avoided.
The problem I just described can happen at the product level, such as an all‐new product from a startup, or at the feature level. The feature example is depressingly common. Every day, new features get deployed that don't get used. And, this case is even easier to prevent.
Suppose you were contemplating a new feature, perhaps because a large customer is asking for it or maybe because you saw ...