Working in the creative and technical space, I get the rewarding opportunity to mentor junior designers, marketers, copywriters and developers entering the workforce. I wish I could say that colleges and universities are preparing students to effectively enter the workforce and showcase their skills to employers, but it seems like higher learning institutions are always about 2 – 5 years behind the curve of what’s happening in the marketplace. Under-preparing college grads is nothing new. Unfortunately, I faced the same challenges as did my peers.
I often get questions from startup founders that are bootstrapping or have yet to receive funding in regards to how they can find other team members that will work for equity or if I will do work for equity. This request is usually a follow-up question after complaining about my hourly rate or complaining about how expensive it is to build their company, but that’s another story for another time.
Bad products are everywhere. Products that simply aren’t useful, don’t work right, are too difficult to learn, or that take forever to sell. Little wonder, as there are so many things that have to go right in order to create a successful product. There are, however, some pitfalls that occur so frequently and are so damaging that we believe they are at the root of the vast majority of bad products.
In this paper we review each of these pitfalls and describe why it’s so easy to get confused and fall into these traps. Keep this list handy, as it can hopefully serve as a reminder of the dangers to avoid in your own product development efforts.