A few weeks ago, in the Heretech podcast interview with Saeed Khan, we discussed the importance of the product management function from the very beginnings of a product. For start-ups, the PM spadework is especially critical, since bad product decisions jeopardize not only the product, but the whole company.
Here's a cautionary tale about a small start-up (thanks to Steve Johnson for the link). The author's verdict: his business fell into a gaping product management hole.
So the number one reason my startup failed was: I was distracted by a cool and shiny feature that didn’t solve anyone’s problem. The shinier and more tempting features of any software program should be regarded with a high level of suspicion. There may be a reason some things are so shiny and alluring. Traps often have this quality. My advice to anyone creating a solution is to march straight towards your initial goal, as long as the goal really does address a true need then that’s what you should focus on.