The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten
282: The Most Common Product Mistakes Startups Make
Feb 9, 2018
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In this episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about the most common product mistakes startups make when developing new products.

Tons of new products are being developed all the time. While some products may end up being great, it’s inevitable that bad ones will get developed. What may seem like a brilliant idea on paper, often turns out to be a terrible idea when introduced in the real world.

In this episode, Steli and Hiten talk about some common mistakes they see that can kill a product, the best way to avoid them and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 - About today’s topic

00:55 - Why this topic was chosen

01:34 - Hiten gives a background about a blog post he made on the subject.

03:13 - Hiten talks about the first mistake he and his team made when they developed a product that failed.

04:20 - Hiten talks about the second mistake made in developing that product.

05:13 - The third mistake that was made in developing that product.

07:56 - Steli highlights a mistakes he’s made in developing a product.

12:15 - Hiten talks about his biggest challenge in developing a product.

13:33 - Things Steli is looking to change this year in how they develop new products.

14:18 - 4 main mistakes startups make when developing new products.


Developing a product is actually very challenging today.
When developing a product, make sure to do user research.
Do competitor research when developing a product.



Steli: Hey, this Steli.


Hiten: This is Hiten, and today on the startup chat, what are we gonna talk about today, Steli? This was your choice.



Steli: This was my choice, yes. (chuckles) We're gonna talk about the most common product mistakes people make, startups make, and even some fucking mistakes that you made last year when it comes to building products, which you only did five of, right? So this is based on a talk that you and Marie gave at SaaSFest a few weeks ago, but also based on the I think most recent product habits e-mail. Again, quick shout-out for those that are listening to the podcast. Probably everybody has already subscribed, but for the new listeners, if you're not on the e-mail list, make sure to go to and get on the e-mail list. Some of the most valuable stuff on the interwebs, and definitely one of my favorite e-mails I get from Heton. So the last e-mail two days was kind of an e-mail where you write in detail, in depth about the most common product mistakes you've observed other people make and other startups make. Those are some of those that you made, and I thought, "We should talk about this, because it's gonna be super valuable to people," so yeah, that's what we're talking about.



Hiten: Yeah, I'll give the background. We know everyone builds products, you know? Even if you're not on a product team, we just know that, like, whether it's software, hardware, even if you're a services business, we consider you someone who builds product, and we consider the service a product. So what Marie and did was we got really excited this year as the year started to actually ask people on our list what their biggest product mistake was. And so we asked that question last week on Monday, and then -- was that last week? No, it was this week. Holy crap.



Steli: (laughs)



Hiten: So we asked that question this on Monday, and we got a whole bunch of responses. They came in super fast, and people were telling us their stories -- very elaborate stories, some of them -- about the mistakes that they made 'cause we asked them to. And we said we'd share them. We even said, you know, we might use your name, if you want us to or not, let us know. We ended up not using anyone's name,

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