Stop Your Product Turning into a Frankenstein Model


Organizations and startups often struggle with maintaining the quality of their products. Over time, these products can become bloated and lose focus, leading to a Frankenstein model that confuses and alienates customers. However, there is a way out of this cycle of horror.

The solution is a shift in focus from asking clients what they want to understand the problem space and testing. This approach leads to a better understanding of customer needs and a more streamlined product that meets those needs.

One of the most significant problems with asking customers what they want is that they may not know what they need. Customers can only provide feedback based on their current experiences and expectations, which may not align with their needs. For example, a customer may ask for a feature that seems essential but is actually unnecessary. By focusing on the problem space and testing, organizations can develop a deep understanding of the customer's needs and design a product that addresses those needs directly.

This is the Product Death Cycle. Why it happens, and how to ...

Credit: David Bland

Testing is a critical component of product development. It allows organizations to validate their assumptions, identify problems early on, and improve the user experience. Organizations can identify product problems with a testing-driven approach before they become bloated and confusing.

Another benefit of focusing on the problem space and testing is that it leads to more iterative product development. Rather than releasing a bloated product and hoping for the best, organizations can release small, focused iterations that address specific customer needs. This approach allows organizations to respond to feedback quickly and improve the product over time.

Organizations can avoid the trap of creating a Frankenstein model by focusing on the problem space and testing. A Frankenstein model is a product that has become so bloated and complex that it is difficult to use and understand. This model can frustrate customers and damage the organization's reputation. Instead, a streamlined product that meets customer needs will be much more successful.

In conclusion, organizations and startups must focus on understanding the problem space and testing to avoid creating a Frankenstein model. By doing so, they can develop a deep understanding of customer needs, design a streamlined product, and improve the user experience over time. Testing-driven development leads to iterative product development that responds to customer feedback quickly. So, rather than asking customers what they want, organizations should focus on their customers' needs and test, test, test!

By Andrew Constable MBA, LSSBB

Keywords: Business Strategy, Innovation, Leadership

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