Building Great Products Starts with Self-Awareness

Sharon Muniz
January 14, 2021
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Building Great Products Starts with Self-Awareness

Are you considering building a great digital product? Here are a few things to consider before you get started. Feynman’s First Principle: Avoiding Self-Deception

Richard Feynman, a Nobel Laureate physicist, once emphasized the importance of intellectual honesty. He believed the most important rule is to avoid fooling yourself. This is especially true when building a new product such as a website or mobile app.

The Cornerstone of Trust: Clarity and Openness

Launching a successful product hinges on trust. Your audience needs to believe you’re offering genuine value and not misleading them. This transparency must begin internally.

How to Achieve Honesty: Recognizing Biases

Confirmation Bias: We gravitate towards information that validates our existing beliefs while disregarding contradictory evidence. Studies show that strong conviction can hinder our ability to process new information.

Combating Confirmation Bias:

  • Maintain Objectivity: Be mindful of moments when you’re ready to dismiss new information. Question why you find it irrelevant.
  • Embrace Opposing Viewpoints: Actively seek out arguments against your ideas. You might be surprised by what you learn.

The Pitfalls of Data Manipulation

P-Hacking: This practice involves manipulating data to confirm a desired outcome. It erodes trust and hinders progress.

The File Drawer Problem: Often, negative or inconclusive research findings go unpublished, leading to an incomplete picture. The same can happen during product development.

Avoiding these pitfalls:

  • Embrace Challenges: View unfavorable data as opportunities for improvement. Invest in addressing shortcomings.
  • Seek Out a Holistic Viewpoint: Be open to all data and actively seek diverse perspectives.

The Key to Success: A Commitment to Learning

Humility is paramount. The most significant danger lies in believing you already have all the answers. As Shakespeare said, “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool”.

Contact NCN Technology to begin your new product journey!


About the Author

Sharon Muniz

Sharon Muniz established her software development consulting firm in Reston, VA after 15 years of working in the software industry. NCN Technology helps clients implement best practices and software to drive their business to success. Ms. Muniz is skilled at strategic planning, business process management, technology evaluation, project and agile software development methodologies.

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