But, that only talks about the initial construction. Unlike a house, a good business or product offering is fluid in its design and is constantly trying to improve, to keep up with its competitors and its customers’ needs. Think of it as evolving from version 1.0 to version 2.0 over time, captured by the mantra: . But, the worst thing you can do, is try to build features of version 2.0 on top of flaws embedded in version 1.0. That is the equivalent of building a house of cards, where the whole thing can topple over with one wrong move.
And if it were on fire?
You wouldn’t continue construction of an addition to your house, if the kitchen was on fire, would you? Of course not. First you would extinguish the fire, repair your kitchen and then get back to building your addition. The same holds true for your business or your product line. But, more often than not, I see businesses keep plowing money into new features and functionalities of their product offering, without paying any attention to whether or not the core product is stable and meeting the needs of its stakeholders. Below are a couple case studies I have seen with my clients that help better illustrate this.
Case study #1: Version 1.0 keeps breaking.
Nothing will upset a customer or an employee more than a product that doesn’t work as advertised. Especially, if you don’t own up to your mistakes and have a clear plan on how you are going to get it fixed, and fast! If you are promising to solve pain points for your users, but the system keeps breaking, all you are doing is creating more pain. This most likely means, there goes your repeat sale or your frustrated employee right out the door. If your house is on fire, put it out! The new addition will just have to be delayed, or you risk the whole house burning to the ground.
Case study #2: Version 1.0 is not selling or meeting needs.
A house on fire might also mean the product works fine, but the users just don’t like it. Maybe it is simply not selling or competitive in the market, or has a complicated user interface.
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