Rather than the high fever, skin rashes and labored coughing of other diseases, symptoms of Widget-Syndrome (Product Founder’s Disease) include:
- 🔧 SYMPTOM 1: An overly myopic obsession with "getting your product 'perfectly perfect'"
- 💸 SYMPTOM 2: Failing to do enough (and the right type) of marketing that's right for your target market because you spend all your time + energy on perfecting / overengineering your widget
- 🤢 SYMPTOM 3: Ignoring other critical parts of your business that could be bigger growth bottlenecks (poor positioning, ineffective sales processes, etc)
The fallout of Widget-Syndrome includes lackluster conversions, stunted sales, poor retention and a very frustrated (and stressed) you.
As a Consultant to new SaaS founders launching their first products, I regularly talk to plenty of Widget-Syndrome victims.
What's the cure?
Simple - stop acting only as a "product operator".
Instead spend more time as an actual BUSINESS OWNER managing your overall business machinery (your highest & best use).
What this means in real-world practical action is:
- ✅ CURE 1: A strong consistent focus on MARKETING and SALES. Additional incremental improvements to your product aren't going to fill your funnel with qualified leads and convert those leads into users / customers. Only marketing & sales does.
- ✅ CURE 2: Get your product (ie. your widget) to a point that's good enough or above average (but it doesn't need to be "perfect")
- ✅ CURE 3: Look at the entirety of your business. Look for bottlenecks OUTSIDE product development. Reasons could be ineffective marketing copy, confusing UX, bad customer service...or maybe you've picked target markets completely wrong by trying to sell (for example) life insurance to the dead. Obviously that particular market doesn't want or need that.
A perfect 100-point product multiplied by zero sales & marketing will always be a big fat ZERO 🤡
However, an 80-point product multiplied by great 90-point marketing and sales totals 7200 pts 🤑
As famed management consultant & author (of 35+ books) Peter Drucker said "Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two - and only two - basic functions: marketing and innovation"
Too many SaaS founders overly obsess on product to the detriment of marketing. They therefore damage their whole business in real, measurable, painful ways.
You could have the greatest most perfectly perfect product in the world but if no one knows you're selling it (or you're selling to the wrong people) then nothing matters.
In short, get your product into a good enough (or above average) state and hit your marketing & sales HARD.
Then you'll actually begin to see the gains you expected when you started this journey as a founder AND business owner💰💪✔️
Originally published at https://www.richmondwong.com