I knew it was happening while I was in the middle, but I couldn’t stop it. I’m bad.
I have been working on a bringing a software product to market. The product is really just taking a series of spreadhseets with complicated statistical formulas, and transforming it into a SaaS application. But, in the process, no customers nor market were consultant. D’oh.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve discussed, written about, and shared how important it is to talk to the market, understand their problem(s) and need(s) BEFORE you start the requirements and build. And, I didn’t do it.
To be fair, to date the spreadsheet version of this product was used by a handful of consultants for their customers. There wasn’t a market per se to interview. However, it doesn’t excuse me from reaching out to the target segments to learn.
So now what? I could continue to beat myself up over the fault, or I could learn from it. I chose to learn. We all make mistakes. It’s how we respond to the lessons we learn in the mistakes that make a difference. As I enter the planning for the next version of the product (while I worry about launching the first version,) I am resolved to speak to the market and gather information, feedback, needs and problems.
Looking in from the outside, sometimes you have to simply say I was wrong and move on, with the lesson learned in your backpocket. This was one of those times for me.