Imagine a chef who didn’t taste their own food as they cooked. A stylist who didn’t measure their client before tailoring a suit. Or a software developer who didn’t check in with their users, and make sure their new application was solving problems.
Absurd, right? Yet the typical approach to development – regardless of the product or service – tends to only involve the end user or customer right at the end of the process. After months of hard work, sometimes years, companies tend to aim for a ‘big reveal.’ They’ll expect to tweak or fix bugs, maybe add in a new feature. But by this point, they’ve typically invested too much to scrap the idea completely if it’s not working.
This is called the sunk cost fallacy
It’s a bias we humans are very susceptible to. We assume we’re losing out if we abandon something we’ve invested time or money into. But that investment is made, already gone. And, logically, we should only base our decisions on future costs.
Take two scenarios. In one, you’ve already spent $1,000,000 in an idea. Suddenly, new research comes out that shows your idea is much riskier than you first realised. And you’re going to need to invest another $100,000. You’re likely to do so. You don’t want to waste that first million.
But imagine, instead, someone came to you and asked you to invest $100,000 in this new, very risky idea. One you’d never heard of before. You’d probably say no.
Get users involved early
The earlier you get the actual end user involved, even at the idea stage, the more you’ll be able to scrap ideas that just don’t work or switch tracks with ideas that are heading down the wrong path.
You’ll know before you’ve invested too much. Which is great for two reasons: it saves you investing that money and losing it. But it also makes it easier to avoid the sunk cost fallacy – and making a mistake which snowballs out of control. The earlier you get your users involved, the less emotionally invested in an idea you’ll be.
Stefanini Dive can help
We run a five-day workshop to find solutions to your business problems. We start by coming up with ideas, then we build prototypes, and then we get to a point where you can validate whether the idea is worth taking further.
And one of the biggest things we’ve learnt has been to get users involved from the very beginning. So we involve them at every stage. That way, we know for sure whether your idea is worth the effort. They help us filter ideas, refine the prototypes and, ultimately, decide if we should continue.
If you’re interested in learning more about Stefanini Dive, read our overview.
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