Great post from Scott on his new product blog. I particularly liked these parts.
We only hear about the successes, and the founders make up some narrative about why they made it that is full of survivorship bias. Reading about why Facebook succeeded is not that helpful to someone starting out today. Almost all of the variables you will face are different than those faced by Mark Zuckerberg.
The problem is that successful products are almost always taken out of context. We don’t see how hard it was to get there, and we don’t see how many times they failed. Some unicorns made it big on their first try, and then we wonder why we can’t be like them.
I had the same thoughts as I read It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work and wrote about them today[^That post will be up in about 20 minutes at 8am Pacific]. It always seems so easy for a successful company to tell you what they do now, but how on earth did they get there? Why did that method work in the time they were starting? What can we take away from it to gain some success now?
Those questions are always so much harder to answer and are almost always entirely suited to a specific place and time.
Take a read through the rest of Scott’s post to learn more about product failure.