Simple products and good products
Start by building something simple, and then iterate on the product until you achieve market success. This is an often repeated formula for building products.
Is it also the formula for building a good (or a great) product? — No, I would say.
- Products that are successful in the market are not necessarily good products.
- Good products do not necessarily become market successes.
- Simple products are not always good products.
- Good products are not always simple (but they are often carefully designed to hide unnecessary complexity).
Considering market success a measure for product quality is too simplistic. There are reasons why people buy products they know they will not like. Price being the most obvious explanation for not choosing the better alternative. Another is: “Because everyone I know bought this product.”
Considering simple to be a signature of good products is just wrong. The evidence is visible in my home, and probably also in yours. I have bought my share of simple products that were definitely not good products.
If you can get rich by building simple and crappy products, why bother obsessing over details in the attempt to build good products?
There is only one good answer.
You want to be honestly proud of yourself when you say: "I made this!"
That you can always do with a good product.