Don't build what shouldn't be built

Photo by Alvaro Reyes / Unsplash

In his popular book "The Lean Startup" Eric Ries introduces a systematic approach how startups evaluate and incrementally build their products through controlled experiments to find out what the customers need.
[If you haven't read the book yet, I would highly recommend it 🤓]

He also says that the questions isn't

"Can this product be built?"

but instead the questions are

"Should this product be built?"


"Can we build a sustainable business around this set of products and services?"

Nearly every product idea that comes up in your head can be built with the incredible possibilities we have today, but the really important question is if this product has some reason for existence.
If your product isn't doing something that solves a persons problem you will have a hard time charging money for it. And sometimes even when it solves a problem you can have trouble building a business around it that is profitable.

Too often founders forget to ask that questions before building a product and invest a lot of time, energy and money into something that just won't work out as a company.

This happens a lot when new technologies come up and founders try to rebuild existing products with this technology because they can (or find it technologically challenging).
These "Like Typeform but with Blockchain" or "Waterbottle with Face-Recognition" (🤷‍♂️) never work, because they focus on the technology - the "can it be built" - instead of on the "should it be built" or "does ist solve a problem?".

Always make sure you don't get lost in the wrong questions and tasks as you develop your product and build your startup. Always focus on the customer and solving their problems with the help of your product. If you lose sight of the customer and put the technical challenge in the focus, it will rarely end well.

Matthias Nannt

Matthias Nannt