Are You Spending too Much Time Trying to Fix Your Product?

Bad products are a symptom of a much bigger problem

Aaron Dinin, PhD
The Startup

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Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

I was talking with a student in one of my entrepreneurship classes, and she was giving feedback on the semester. “I really love the class, Dr. Dinin,” she said. “My only issue is that sometimes the assignments are a little confusing.”

In general, I don’t mind negative feedback. I tend to view it as an opportunity to learn how I can improve, which is what I assumed was about to happen. “I’m sorry the assignments are confusing,” I told her. “Out of curiosity, what do you find confusing? It’ll help me improve them for next time I teach the course.”

“Mostly it’s the due dates,” she said. “I never know when things are actually due.”

“Really?” I said, surprised by her answer. “But I included all the due dates in the syllabus I gave you on the first day of class.”

“Yeah,” she responded. “But I lost the syllabus.”

“I also uploaded the syllabus to our class website,” I told her. “You can just view it there.”

“Oh, I know,” she told me. “I’m just too lazy to do it.”

“Let me make sure I’m understanding this correctly,” I said. “You’re confused when assignments are due, but you lost the printed…

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Aaron Dinin, PhD
The Startup

I teach entrepreneurship at Duke. Software Engineer. PhD in English. I write about the mistakes entrepreneurs make since I’ve made plenty. More @ aarondinin.com