Are you happy with your product?

I was in a board meeting yesterday that was extremely interesting.

The founder came to the meeting with a number of ideas on how to improve growth. The ideas ranged from stuff that he personally wanted to see fixed & improved combined with a number of ideas that came from the user data they had collected since launch.

These days there is a lot of talk about “growth hacking”. It’s a natural desire to be interested in that stuff. We all want to see numbers going up and to the right every week and every month. And paying attention to the data provides a seductive way of optimizing the product to see the charts move.

But the thing to keep front and center is recall the reason why this product and company exist in the first place.

Why are we building what we building? Why are we doing what we are doing?

The answer is typically from the founder who started the company for a reason. They wanted to see their vision exist in the world. And the early team that decided to throw caution to the wind and join the founder, had a shared belief in that vision and that founder.

Yes, it’s easy to be drawn to growth hacking, improving optimization, a/b testing, improving on boarding, improving registration flows, adding viral hooks, etc. Yet I think it’s useful to find a quiet place and each day put away the board deck, put the spreadsheets face down, hide the dashboard window, and ask yourself one simple question.

Are you happy with your product?

Pay attention to the answer. It’s the soul of your product talking.