Swell Navigator, the wave surf prediction app I helped launch, is a goner. All of us quit. It’s not longer in the app store.
We knew chances of succes where very slim. But the reason we had to stop wasn’t at all what we expected. The main problem wasn’t that people didn’t get it or didn’t like it. It wasn’t that we were fighting about the direction of the company. The main problem was the way we built our team.
Each one of us represented a different expertise. Which also meant only one of us was able to actually develop. And with a product as complex as this, that meant we couldn’t improve our product iteratively.
Okay, wait. Sorry, mom, I might be going too fast. The developer is the person who builds the product. There’s back-end and front-end, but let’s forget about that for a second. The important thing is: he or she writes the code. Our app was very complex and so lots of code went into it. On top of that, making a digital product like an app means you have the power to change everything about your product at all times. Even after you released it. And you should. People might for example not use or understand certain features. So those should be changed or ditched. As people use it, you learn more on how to make your product better.
Lots of very successful digital products ended up being something very different than initially intended. You know YouTube, right? Well, that website was meant as a dating service using video. But as people started using the site for uploading videos mainly, the company started reacting to that by changing the features.
Improving like that doesn’t work if you only have one developer and a complex product. Even if the developer is really good. Simply because you can’t respond to what users are doing with your product fast enough. If we can’t adjust to what our users need, they’ll stay with the competitors that can. We were a state of the art factory with a tiny assembly line.
Don’t worry though, mom. We had a good time and learned a lot. Now I’ll get to invest more time in freelance advertising strategy projects and lots more in growing the podcast. I got actually got nominated for a dutch podcast award. Did I tell you about that? I had you vote for me remember? Well now I have a nomination and you should vote again! Click here to vote on the show and don’t forget to confirm your vote at the bottom of the page. Thanks, mom.
Okay I gotta run.