Build it and They Will Come — The Best Way to Fail

The term ‘build it and they will come’ was adapted as a mantra from the 1989 Kevin Costner film, Field of Dreams. Costner’s character is falling upon hard times and rushes into a business decision which, at the last minute, pays off. He ignores all advice and doesn’t stop to question things at any point on his journey — he goes with his gut instinct and it works.

Do people believe ‘build it and they will come’ works?

A short answer, is yes. But why do people choose this strategy, when all of the evidence suggests the contrary?

What stops it from working?

As visionaries, most entrepreneurs have their sights set on the end-goal of their tangible product, filling gaps in the market, and saving the world. However, taking your product from a thought process to this point is not a two-step plan. To avoid failure, entrepreneurs and startup founders need to implement business processes and seek out the market fit through research.

How can you avoid falling into this trap?

It is down to you, as the founder, to ensure you keep your head above the sand. By inputting processes and building a business plan, you will avoid leaving your product to the fates.

  1. Don’t rush to release all features at once How will you know what features your consumer likes and dislikes, if you release all of its features at once? By staging your release and adding features, you can decipher the response to each aspect of your product and enhance it for future releases.
  2. Be lean Being lean is not one tactic, it is a business mindset to adapt from the off. A lean business will be open to feedback and listen to their customer to eliminate waste through being dynamic and optimising their product.

Alex Weekes is a Digital Product Manager, Associate Lecturer, and Startup Consultant working with some of the world's most innovative startups and technologies.

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