When uncovering new opportunities, it can be tempting to jump straight into product conceptualization, design, and development. Having worked with a lot of founders and executives, we consider such enthusiasm an invaluable asset to any project.
However, this excitement can also push some to forego research and work on prototyping their product idea immediately. Alternatively, those that do some research do them half-heartedly and only rely on easily obtainable data. There are countless examples why this is a mistake. Here are the risks in not conducting proper research.
- Lack of product-market fit: Without research, businesses may later find out that the very concept of their product doesn’t solve real problems for real customers. Even if it does, there may not be enough demand to make a business out of it.
- Misalignment to customer segments: Without understanding customers enough, businesses run the risk of alienating certain audiences. Customers shouldn’t be placed in a single bucket. Whether through varying product configurations or marketing strategies, proper research informs businesses how they can best engage different customer segments.
- Competitive disadvantage: Businesses can learn from the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors. Without researching your industry peers, you run the risk of launching a product that doesn’t stand out.
- Cost overruns and delayed time-to-market: No business wants to spend on an idea that won’t sell. But even assuming there’s some product-market fit, lack of solid research can lead to operational and spending inefficiencies. Uncover the right features and configurations by testing them as early as possible.