Q: Why do we wait to build the product?
A: People don't use something if it doesn't solve a real want or need in their lives.
Take Airbnb for example...
Airbnb, originally Airbed and Breakfast, was started by two friends renting air mattresses to strangers in their San Francisco apartment.
The concept sounds odd at first. Reid Hoffman, investor and co-founder of LinkedIn, famously said "Someone’s going to rent a couch or a room from someone else? Who are the freaks on both sides of that transaction?"
But Airbnb talked to their early users.
Co-founder Brian Chesky recalls users saying “Hey, I don’t feel comfortable with the guest. I don’t know who they are.” So they added profiles. But what should a profile include? Again, they asked the users. “Well, I want a photo. I want to know where they work.” Your users will tell you what they want.
"The creation of the peer-review system, customer support, all these things came from users literally—we didn’t just meet our users, we lived with them."
Investor Reid Hoffman sums it up nicely:
"Passionate feedback is a clue that your product really matters. It’s essential to get this kind of feedback early, while you’re still defining the product.
It’s like setting a foundation as an architect. You wouldn’t build a skyscraper before you’ve build a solid foundation. User feedback ensures you won’t
build a dozen floors on an unstable swamp."