How Does Over-Engineering A Product Hurt a Startup’s Growth?

Product development strategy is one of the most important success aspects of a startup. Making the right decisions while manufacturing a product makes all the difference.

However, as per current statistics- “42% of Startups do not find the need for their product.” 17% companies delivered non-user-friendly products.”

It is the reason businesses strive to manage technical expenses by partnering. For this, they resort to the best debt consolidation loan on bad credit from the right direct lender. It leaves enough flexibility for the business to manage costs efficiently.

The theories and studies suggest that over-engineering a product is the primary reason behind the failure.

What Does Over-Engineering A Product Imply?

Overengineering is a technique of designing a product that is complicated for the customer to understand. In short, it is providing a solution in a complex way where a simple one could have appealed to the customers better.

The downside of the approach is- customers do not buy the product. The over-complicated product does not add value to the customer’s life anyway. It can harm your business and reputation online.

What Causes Over-Engineering Failure? 

In most situations, over-engineering failure happens because:

  • One invests time in finding solutions to future or “just-in-case” situations.
  • Lack of experience in designing a product as per current customer wants.
  • Sticking by the traditional belief of solving non-existing issues.
  • Non-clarity over customer’s problem.
  • Ignoring good design principles.
  • Encountering issues in setting priorities.
  • Lacking the capability to estimate things.
  • Boredom with creating something new that simply complicates the product further.

How Would You Know If You Are Over-Engineering?

Here are some common symptoms of over-engineering a product.

  • You write product codes that hardly attack the problems your target audience has.
  • Implementation of code in line with business requirements and re-thinking the boundaries.
  • You decide to ignore the rules and project requirements and prioritise your vision. You believe it will make the product better.
  • The gap between the consequences and complexity of the problem.
  • You try prioritising tasks that are hardly important or add any value to the current business scenario.
  • Guided by deep-rooted traditional beliefs. It is the most challenging thing to realise and rectify. Analyse and identify the codes that seem too complicated. If you lack the theory behind it, chances are- you are over-engineering the product.

What Are The After-Effects/ Consequences Of These Failures?

Over engineering is good only if it aligns with the existing requirements of the targeted audience. Over-optimising the demands and needs may lead to a disaster.   Here are some tangible consequences of over-engineering a product.

1)      It increases development costs

Engineering startups invest more time and effort into the technical aspect of the product. It might seem great for startups. It detects any issue almost instantly. However, ensuring this quick system of rectifying technical aspects proves hefty on the firm’s capital. The costs include-

  • Testing the product costs
  • Validating parent flows
  • Updating documentation
  • Legalization
  • Adding new features and seeking patent

Adding fresh features to the product increases the load on existing features. And additional features sometimes become complicated to use with existing features.

2)      It widens your maintenance costs

Simple code is much easier to program, modify, and test. When one complicates it, figuring out and designing the right products becomes strenuous. It Impacts the iteration costs.

3)      Takes longer to build and customers to master

Over-engineering do not base on user behaviour but prioritizes future customer requirements. These problems may or may not exist or impact the lifestyle in the future. Businesses spend too much time creating a product that they forget whom they are designing for.

4)      Difficulty in communicating the benefits

Many businesses post creating over-engineered products fall back on communicating the benefits. The product fails if your business cannot communicate the benefits, functionality, and issues it solves.

5)      Technological disaster

If a business approaches product development with the wrong approach, it fails. While it is one of the most obvious engineering costs, it primarily impacts the future. Supporting and implementing the wrong technology is not only expensive but affects the overall purpose. On the other hand, building a product from scratch with a rectified version doubles the technology costs.

How Can Businesses Avoid Falling For Over-Engineering Trap?

It is crucial to ensure the right audience and product knowledge and demands are addressed to prevent over-engineering. It helps to have a technical background when communicating the right message. Those just starting in product management should avoid visionary products with specific future usage in mind. Over-engineering can be avoided by following these steps.

1.       Do not write over-complicated codes

Explore the requirement before coding. Carefully consider the relationship between customers’ desires and coding requirements that meet them. Be mindful of the goals that you wish to achieve at each stage of product development. Check and inspect your choices and decisions in terms of potential gains.  Centralize the benefit of both client and the business. Make efforts to design one in the best interest of the customers. It will help you fetch a wider customer base. Different clients share unique priorities and values. Therefore, there is no one way to ensure success.

And as they say- “Good programmers write codes understandable by humans.”

2.       Engage in detailed Market Research

Many programmers and product designers often miss out on this strategy. It forms the base of the success or failure of any product.

Decide- whether you wish to fulfil the existing demand with a new perspective or create a demand in the market? Check the existing businesses in your industry and their performance in the market.

Competitive analysis is vital to designing a unique and successful product. A business strives to fill a market gap with an easy-to-understand and indispensable solution.

Check out something breakthrough you can do to ease up the demand curve.

3.       Ensure the best team is by your side

Startups often struggle to balance capital and meet business requirements simultaneously. Hence, organizations might not have the best minds on the board. Here, businesses can seek an outsider having the best of everything. It should have everything that the existing team lacks. A combination of the best minds, skills, and innovation will help design a better product for early adopters.

4.       Prioritize User Feedback

Before designing any product, it is essential to know the drawbacks. Check the things people talk about it online. Is it receiving applauds or frustration? Identifying these is the most important aspect of designing the right product for your end audience or consumers. Avoid opinionated on your product version and listen to your people.

Interact with your audience before implementing anything alien to the product. It is because these are the product end-users. The plan should fit their requirements.

5.       Stick to the primary features

Calculate the brand’s requirements. What do your customers expect from the product? How can you cater to this need of theirs?

 For example- If you are a direct lender, consider when your customer might need long-term loans with no guarantor on bad credit. Instead of optimizing the offering with secondary features like – interest optimization and customer support.

6.       Converse with experts

If any individuals in your network have conducted and experimented with similar things, this might help.  It will help you gather insights and analyze the best solutions to certain hurdles.

Wrapping up

Coding solutions that do not attack a particular demand is useless. If you ignore business requirements for the sake of it, it will fail. Spotting over-engineering can be challenging. The above symptoms may help you identify.

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