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Ognjen Regoje

I make things that run on the web (mostly).
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Sales is product development too

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to hear quite a few startup pitches in a semi-advisory capacity and have noticed what I consider a mistake appear quite frequently: founders are so focussed on selling that they ignore the product development that’s right in front of them.

In more then one occasion the feedback that I’ve given was something along the lines of “Why you don’t let me do x from here” and the response is “We don’t let you do x because…” To me that seems like a missed opportunity since the founder is trying to convince me that he’s right and that his design is correct but in fact I’ve given him quite specific feedback about how his product’s interaction is counterintuitive and could be improved.

I think a much better response would have been “What exactly were you trying to do that you needed to do x from there?” Or “Why do you think you need to do x from there?”

Other examples are:

“I don’t understand what x does or how to do x” being responded to with an explanation on how to do it instead of understanding what exactly is confusing or asking about how it’s done now.

“I don’t know what you do” being responded to with another pitch instead of asking what is unclear. This is especially evident when someone has just given me a link and has not pitched directly. They do not take this to mean that their landing page isn’t good enough – instead they just clarify. They have the luxury of clarifying to me who will invest time but a user just randomly landing on their site will just bounce.