How I killed our product – believing that as a product owner I was part of the target group.
When you are building a product for yourself, you are building a product for yourself. Be aware of this limitation to create better products.

When I was working on my first app …

we developed our concept based on we were missing in the market. I was sure that if I had the problem, others would too. I was aware that we should be delivering value in every sprint, but most of the time I was prioritizing user stories that weren’t really user stories at all.

The irony was that our users had asked for features. But I thought I knew better because I was seeing the whole picture.

“Once that new feature will be released, they’ll be happy. Back in the days people wanted faster horses. Stupid people.”

No Josua, you’re stupid!

It ended up with some of our users creating memes about us delivering features that no one asked for, instead of delivering what they have been asking for for months.

Here are the 3 common pitfalls I identified why Product Owners rely on their intuition.

  1. POs think they are their own target audience.
    When you start to focus on solving your own problems with your product, you might stop caring about the target audience and their problems. But that’s your no. 1 job!
  2. POs THINK they know what their customers want.
    If you really want to make something that people will love using—and keep using—you have to approach your product from their perspective.
    You have to watch them interacting, hear them talking, reading between the lines. It’s just not enough to guess what’s right.
  3. POs think they don’t have time for research.
    When there’s pressure from stakeholders or an upcoming deadline POs have a hard time making time for research. And sometimes there is no other way than to rely on the little you know at that moment. But it should not become a practice to rely exclusively on your intuition due to lack of time.

As a product owner, it can be easy to lose sight of these pitfalls—you’re passionate about your product, and you want it to succeed. But if you think about it, the only reason you’re building this thing is because people need it.

When you are building a product for yourself, you are building a product for yourself. When you are aware of this limitation, you can avoid it and create better products for others.