From a lifetime marketing and mentoring tech start-ups, I come across the very same mistake every single time. The poor admin dashboard never gets a look-in, well maybe not until the third or fourth round of funding when they’re just looking for ways to spend money.
What Tech Start-Ups do well
- Identify and solve pain points.
- Build BETAs with constant feedback from end users as interested in the product’s success as the founders.
- Focus on the end-user UX and branding – nice clean websites that show what the product does. Then with a little more time and money, put some effort into the UX of the application itself.
What Tech Start-Ups tend not to do
- Involve UX designers in the planning stages. Instead, they are usually brought it in around year two as a ‘nice to have’. What happens, in reality, is that IT make all design decisions and although I’ve worked with many brilliant CTOs over the years, few have invested much love into intuitive dashboards. Recently, I went as far to say to a client: I wouldn’t show that dashboard to any prospect until it has had a makeover.
- Put any real thought into the back-back-end. They seem to jump into ‘the build’ without any real thought about the best way to accommodate further functionality or modules. What happens further down the path is that you have these inherent limitations that start with ‘the way the system is built you can’t…’
- Put serious thought into information/reporting requirements so you have no easy way of finding out what your users are doing on the system. Then as the product gains more customers, then more competitors, the resources focus on the end-user needs, not the company so everything is just terribly manual.
What Tech Start-Ups should do
- Go ahead build the prototypes, the MVP and do your BETA launch but don’t just keep going.
- Stop after you’ve confirmed the need and identified the functionality your users want.
- Take a breather.
- Restart thinking about the best way to build bearing in mind everything said above.
So you won’t be able to plan for every eventuality but you’re far less likely to be hit with limitations each and every time you need to do something new.