5. The Outsourcing of Founders Responsibility
The Product Development model separates founders from deeply understanding their customers and market. The responsibility for validating the founders original hypotheses is delegated to employees – the sales and marketing team.
This means the founders are isolated from directly hearing customer input – good, bad and ugly. Worse, founders really won’t understand whether customers will buy and what features are saleable until after first customer ship.
When an adroit and agile founder gets outside the building and hears for the nth time that the product is unsellable they will recognize, regroup and change direction. A process to give the founders continuous customer interaction – from day one – is essential.
6. The Focus on a Finished Product Rather than a Minimum Feature Set
The passion of an entrepreneur coupled with the product development diagram drives you to believe that all you need to do is build the product (in all its full-featured glory) and customers will come. A Waterfall development process reinforces that inanity. The reality is quite different. Unless you are in an Existing Market, (making a better version of what customers are already buying) you’ll find that your hypothesis about what features customers want had no relationship to what they really wanted.
Most startup code ends up on the floor.