Monday 27 September 2010

Planned vs. market driven product development

The natural resource of wind powers these 5MW ...Image via Wikipedia
European startups, particularly the ones with strong engineering team, tend to plan their product development. They trust themselves and meticulously plan all details of the product. That's fine if you have time for it, but it gets worse. There is a fine line with planing  and over planing. When a CEO explain that they "just need to add one more feature" I know something is wrong. I've seen startups postponing their launch month over months, due to that "just one more feature" reason.

Valley based startups tend to be much more market driven. They launch, test, measure, iterate. At the end of the day, that's what small lean startups are designed to do...Move really fast (we're talking about days, not weeks), and check for every clue from the market.

There are pros and cons to both approaches. Europeans would benefit from a bit more flexibility, and Americans from thinking things through a bit more from time to time. A startup must find it's own balance, as always the right answer is somewhere between the two extremes.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Just one more feature..." is a statement so true, that it is almost disturbing! :) After all, most software writers are artists before traders (business).