How to Find What Users Want

One of the main problems small companies face is trying to figure out what their users need. In the desire to create a new business or improve it, they create products that could possibly be of interest to their market.

Despite their interest, many such companies fail because they spend too much time and energy in the process of building a product.

Instead, I believe that most of the time should be spend learning about the market, and listening to what users need and want to spend money on.

On the bright side, there are lots of ways to learn about users needs. For example, a simple way to learn what the market wants is to create a simple, focused product and market it to the people you think are interested. This can be a simple way to see if there is interest in your idea.

Devising the Perfect Product

Sadly, a lot of time is spent trying to find perfect ideas for software products. While there is merit in bringing something innovative to the market, most products that work commercially are based on simple ideas that are already being used somewhere else. In fact, even Google started with an existing idea, searching for keywords on the web, with a twist that made it faster and easier to use.

The way you can create a good software company is gathering ideas that already work, then releasing a product that satisfy these needs in a different way. For example, you can create a product that is easier to use, or that target a different segment of the market than the existing offers.

By doing this, you can try to evaluate if the product will be received successfully and improve it as necessary.

On the other hand, if a product is not successful, you can always try to change course if you didn’t invest too much time and energy on it. Success then becomes a matter of using the market as a earning tool, instead of going against it.

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About the Author

Carlos Oliveira holds a PhD in Systems Engineering and Optimization from University of Florida. He works as a software engineer, with more than 10 years of experience in developing high performance, commercial and scientific applications in C++, Java, and Objective-C. His most Recent Book is Practical C++ Financial Programming.

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