Good products are one in a million | January 20, 2010

  1. I have an idea for a thing (1 million people)
  2. I tried to build a thing (50,000 people)
  3. I built a thing that works (10,000 people)
  4. I built a thing that people use (1,000)
  5. I built a thing that’s easy to use (50 people)
  6. I built a thing that people enjoy using (5 people)
  7. I built a thing that people love (1 person)

Posted at January 20, 2010 11:55 AM

Comments

Sjors said on January 20, 2010 5:05 PM

But you don’t understand, I have an idea that will revolutionize the way we do business :)

I would say that the amount of people who tried to build something is even lower. Having an idea doesn’t require any skills whilst building it, does consider a healthy amount of skills.

sil said on January 20, 2010 9:26 PM

There is, of course, the flipside of that:

  1. I have an idea for a thing (1 million people) (like the idea)
  2. I tried to build a thing (50,000 people) (like the thing I tried to build)
  3. I built a thing that works (10,000 people) (like the thing I built)
  4. I built a thing that people use (1,000 people) (use the thing)
  5. I built a thing thatís easy to use (50 people) (agree with me on what “easy to use” means)
  6. I built a thing that people enjoy using (5 people) (enjoy using it)
  7. I built a thing that people love (1 person) (loves it…me.)

The obvious retort there is that if you’re designing things that are “easy to use” but people don’t agree, then you’re no good at your job, and that’s a very valid point. But it’s not necessarily an easy thing to do. Your list implies that people can avoid falling off the track by honing down on each of your points, but I don’t think anyone sets out to create apps that are hard to use :-)

I do believe I shall print your list up and put it in front of me above the monitor, to inspire me in times of self-doubt. Nice one.

Jason said on February 5, 2010 3:31 PM

Short, sweet, to the point, and inspiring!

Thanks Andy!

The flipside comment posted by Sil is equally awesome :)

I’ll mention the beautiful intersection between Andy + Sil’s posts.

Perhaps aim for somewhat of a balance between creating something that you enjoy/love to create and that people love/enjoy using, with a similar balance for ease-of-creation vs. ease-of-usability.