The Frog in Hot Water

You identify a niche, you build a product.

You talk to a few early customers, they try it out.

As a startup you have a zillion things to do. Out of the many axes of optimisation, you optimise the few that you want to strategically focus on.

Your customers love it, it solves a big problem for them. They are excited about it.

The good word about your product spreads and you attract more customers. Soon you have a healthy growth rate.

And then it happens. What your customers thought were minor inconveniences have snowballed into a major issue stream with your product.

Everything was going well, so what exactly happened?

As your product evolves, your customer set evolves too. The early adopters were more adaptable, because it fixed a pain point for them. As your product becomes mainstream, the customers that you attract, and their expectations are mainstream. They expect things on the axes that you didn’t intentionally optimise for.

What you choose to do when faced with this solution is up to you and your product’s domain. But it helps to be cognisant of the fact that this may happen, and look out for it before it is too late to leap out of the pot.

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