Are you a user of your own product?

Anamika Chaudhary
24 replies
Hello Makers! Do you think it's easier to build a product when you are a user of that yourself? You can easily understand what other users like you, would want and prioritize according to that. Or do you get submerged in what all YOU want from the app rather than what most other users want? If yes, how do you overcome that?


Aaron O'Leary
Definitely am a user and it does help when founding a product for sure, however relying on your own opinion can be a detriment to the product, it's important to distance your opinion from the product itself and listen to the User feedback
Anamika Chaudhary
@aaronoleary completely agree, I think I learnt this over time. When we had just started, we were thinking of what users will want from our own perspective. But even if there was small bias in the beginning, it definitely helped us getting started on the product and giving something out to the users as an MVP
Marin Rowe
@aaronoleary @anamika_chaudhary2 Totally agree with what you've both shared. I think it's important to be a user of your own product but you need to separate your own bias from the end-user experience- especially as it pertains to the product UI. There have been things we've built over time that make sense to us from a UI perspective because we're in the product every day but when you step back and get user feedback, they don't know how to find the new functionality or it may not seem as intuitive to them. Conducting regular user interviews has been hugely helpful for us.
very good question. we are using our product in order to develop it. we call this "dogfood" or in a more tasty version "icecream". So that means we are eating our own food, are using our own tool to develop it. We hope that this will have an accelerating effect on the development. But of course, this has also some impediments, as the product does not work properly in the beginning and then you sometimes feel a bit like cheating, when using other products. I also see the danger, that you were mentioning, that we become an isolated island and are too much only implementing our own wishlist, instead of approaching customers earlier and listening more to their needs. Oh oh... now I'm worried.
Anamika Chaudhary
@timz_flowers 😅😅 like @aaronoleary said getting feedback from the users is key. Interesting term though "ice-cream"!! 🍦
Rajesh kumar
I used to think it is same as how movie directors say I make movies for myself. I am a user of my own product. There are people like me and they could feel the same way about the product. But the problem comes when we have to find them. I share my product to my friends who have totally different interests, and they don't like it at all. I have to make changes in next iterations and slowly ends up totally different. And it no longer interests me and drop the plans.
Anamika Chaudhary
@ifour are those friends your target audience though? May be you were right about it and not your friends, that also happens if in case your friends were not from your target market.
Rajesh kumar
@anamika_chaudhary2 They were not my target audience clearly. I was shocked by their response initially. But later when I reviewed their feedback, they were reacting the same way to successful products present on market as well. Many people say, show your product to friends to get your first 10 users. But that doesn't work out always.
James Skarzynski
I have made 3 separate products specifically for myself. Although the third just entered the open beta, the first two had the same result: There weren't enough other people who needed the same product. The trick is to make a product for a problem that you and others both have. Then, get insight and feedback from members of that community as you build, so that you know you're building for an audience, rather than an individual.
Anamika Chaudhary
@jamesskarzynski I guess looking for evidence online should help in understanding how many people are facing the same problem. For my project, I joined communities where I would find my target audience and started reading about they are saying about that problem and asking them specially about the problem too. Reddit helps a lot in that.
Darko Williams
Yes and no. It helps to be a user of your product, but the problem is when you're the ONLY user. You need to check if there are more than 1 of you out there.
Anamika Chaudhary
@zerotousers any tricks on how to do that? I usually join communities and see if people see facing the same problem. Any other ideas you wanna suggest?
Sharon Cohen
Yes, because I haven't built huge businesses yet, I felt like the safest route was to be my own customer. In terms of marketing perspective, it gives you a huge benefit because you can dive deep into your own desires from the product and understand the deep, vulnerable psychology that no one would tell you if you asked. I think that the idea of going for what YOU think is right and not what everybody else doesn't come from a place of whether you're your own customer or not. I've made sure that my job is to figure out what my customers want and serve them (and not myself) and that's why I wouldn't have difficulty in that place regardless of whether I'm my own customer or not. From the way I see it after countless hours of research and listening to mega-successful people - there are certain things you must know from day one if you want to succeed: 1. People don't buy a product, they buy an experience. So branding and marketing are must haves. 2. You can't be a pro if you don't start. 3. Your job is to serve your customers and not yourself. Obviously, there are more but these are some of the most important ones and number 3 is exactly what you're talking about 😉 Hopefully I could help!
Excellent question, the answer is a bit nuanced. Here are a few points: Pros: - You know where to find your target audience; - You understand the problems deeply; - You have great insights; Cons: - Developing the product may make you a power user which can make you prioritise niche things that cater to a few advanced users over the majority; - Emotional attachments may form to the extent where you struggle to remove wasteful features.
Ahmed Elsamadisi
@rawoyemi For the Cons, we have our Engineering team also do support. VERY expensive support but bugs get fixed so quickly so less tickets.
@ahmed_elsamadisi That can be very helpful. My thoughts are more focused on choosing to build the right things over everything. Being a user may make you overlook other user experiences that differ to your own.
Andrew Goei
I absolutely believe that if you're a user of your own product that you're building, that you'll build a better product. Many of the great startups are born out of the Founder trying to solve their own problem. This works much better than trying to solve a problem you haven't personally experienced, because in that case often times it's more of an assumption than a validated problem. We decided to create to solve our own problems, and the problems we see being faced by our clients who are in the process of fundraising.
Anamika Chaudhary
@andrewgoei agreed, also, often it leads to more passion as well because it's something you relate to very personally
Ahmed Elsamadisi
YES! I used to work for a company that didn't use their own product and it drove me insane. I use our product daily. Like beyond a normal amount. - our onboarding emails are via Narrator - customer support is via our Narrator - all analysis and reports are in our Narrator If your not using Narrator daily then you are not building something you love! BTW our product is a data modeling solution on top of a warehouse.
Andrew Goei
@ahmed_elsamadisi lol wow. I couldn’t imagine the pain of working at your old employer. It’s like, what if Slack didn’t use Slack.
Harri Arain
Quite frankly yes, i have been using my own product because we were already working remote . That is how the idea took place we used our own app and made it accessible for everyone, now is for everyone
Art Usau
I am. I recently joined the team of as a product manager after using it as a back-office for my own project(which I had to put on hold for now).
Andrea Cavagna
Yes absolutely, I use it every day and it is essential for my work. Soon I will launch it on ProductHunt