Sunday, July 07, 2013

If People Don't Get Your Product, It's Your Fault, Not Theirs

Spend enough time with any startup's product team, and you'll hear complaints about the customers.

Many of these complaints are justified.  Customers misuse, misunderstand, and just plain miss the point of products.

But blaming the user is useless, unless you're going to find a brand new set of customers who, magically, are smart enough to figure out your product but dumb enough to pay you for it.

I like to draw analogies to other industries; in this case, consider publishing.

When you write a book, and people don't "get it," is that the fault of the reader?  Or of the author?

If you were ever forced to read "Tess of the d'Urbervilles," you'll know that it's the fault of the author. (Suck it, Thomas Hardy!)

The author writes the book, and it's his or her job to make sure that the reader gets something out of it.  If a reader "gets it," he or she darn well better get something out of it, be it wisdom, entertainment, or new skills.

When you read a book, and you don't "get it," I'd bet you don't say, "Gee, I guess I'm just not smart enough for this fine work of literature."  You're far more likely to say, "Man, this author blows."

Products are no different.  If people don't get your product, it's your fault, not theirs.

1 comment:

Unmana said...

I agree with everything except for Tess of the d'Urbervilles: I liked it! :)