Product Discovery for Engineers

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A friend of mine and a few colleagues of his have developed a very nice business analytics tool. While they do have a couple of test users, it is evident from the product that they built it almost entirely out of fascination for technology. I'm an engineer by nature myself so I can very much relate to them. But the truth that usually come as a big surprise to engineers is that users are not buying technology, but solutions to their problems. It is here where we, the engineers, usually fail when developing solutions. Our fascination with technology prevents us from seeing that the principal part of the solution is to find lucrative market, accessible users, penetrable distribution channels, and repeatable sales, and not to use the latest and greatest technology. I've advised my friend to read either Steve Blank's The Four Steps to the Epiphany, Eric Ries' The Lean Startup, or Marty Cagan's Inspired. I hope my friend will read at least one of these books. The technology they have developed is very nice. But the technology is only the first step on a long journey to a successful, repeatable business model.