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What did I learn about product development?

I have been developing products for over about 15 years, and successful products for about 2 years ๐Ÿ™‚

After the failed attempt at charging $49, $149 and $249 for Putler, and talking to customers, I thought I should list down my lessons. Feel free to add your comments.

  • It takes a lot of hard work and time to develop good products. (Putler has been in development for about 18 months, and we still have a long way to go)
  • It is critical to understand the market. Mass markets are generally price conscious. Niche markets allow you to charge higher.
  • Team’s skill levels and expertize are a major factor in development time
  • Marketing requires much more time and attention than you think!
  • I am a geek / programmer / developer myself. So I have a strong urge to code myself. This slows things down on marketing / promotion.
  • Free generates publicity!
  • Well designed website is a great marketing tool. (Our new website was labeled as “slick” by a PhD Graphic Designer)
  • Sales letter style pitch does not work for software!
  • There is a lot of repeat work across different products I develop. Every product has a core, common set of problems.
  • I can’t “focus” on multiple products at once! I got to pick one at a time!
  • Bundles and offers attract people.
  • I over estimate revenues and under estimate development time!
  • Every small thing takes time, energy and attention.
  • Keeping in touch with customers helps greatly.
  • Sending genuine, real life emails is much better. (and much easier to write too!)

 

Early Mockup of the new Putler (as of 16 April 2010)

What do you think?

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