Fail Fast or Pivot. On Importance of Collecting Feedback and Monitoring User Behavior

Daryna Tkachenko

Love it or hate it, failure is an integral threat to any startup owner. “Fail fast,” they say, and some startups obey. For obvious economical reasons, investors and startup owners want the endeavour to fail at an early stage rather than at the final one. But the ultimate goal is, of course, to never fail at all. Easier said than done.

5 min read

Top reasons why startups fail are lack of expertise in market needs and poor product quality. More often than not, a startup creates a product the market simply does not need. Maybe they have invented a solution solely to their own problem; or maybe the market is just not ready for this product yet. Sometimes, a startup idea seems brilliant, yet it falls on face because the co-founders did not actually know what they were doing. And, in both cases, the team often does not care to receive their users’ feedback or monitor the behavior of the users in a given system. This is the biggest miss, which could cost the startup’s life.

Top 8 Reasons Why Startups Fail

Lack of expertise in market needs

Poor product quality

Failure to monitor user behavior

Neglect of user feedback

Redundancy of the product on the market

No need in this specific solution

Market is not yet ready for the product

Poor implementation of the idea

Collecting User Feedback

This is always the users who matter: they should navigate the startup team in the long and troublesome journey for a perfect product market fit. Thus, collecting user feedback of all possible kinds is important. Product owners should particularly value the feedback of actual users, i.e. the ones who already tried installing and navigating through the application or visiting the website. This concerns both the idea and its implementation. The team should find out whether their product meets the market and the users’ needs. Moreover, they should realize whether their idea got a nice implementation by asking their users to evaluate the product’s usability, functionality and/or design.

Granting users a tool to share their feedback is the foremost task of every startup team. These tools comprise but are not limited to feedback widgets, e.g. chat or Contact Us forms, both in-app and e-mail surveys and questionnaires, social listening and interviews. A more sophisticated embedded mechanism of seeking feedback requires a user to shake their phone to reveal an otherwise hidden feedback form in an app.

By implementing a feedback mechanism within the app itself, the startup team makes it easy for the targeted users to provide immediate input for the product. Based on the feedback collected from the users, the startup team could further improve or re-design their application.

Infographics with Launching a Startup Scheme

Monitoring User Behavior in a System

Apart from collecting users' feedback, startup teams are recommended to research user behavior in the software products to make further decisions on scaling, adding and removing pieces of functionality. One of the most popular and effective tools to monitor user behavior in an app or on a website is freemium analytics service by Google, Google Analytics. Here at Logicify, we do use Google Analytics in combination with other tools for our double-sided monitoring system for user behavior and condition of the custom software solutions we build.

Standard Google Analytics metrics allows to record the number of users interacting with the app or website, the duration of their sessions, and the screens they visit. A bit more gimmicky yet equally flexible instrumentation would show how exactly the users interact with an app, which content they share, which files they download and which actions they complete. When analyzed and interpreted properly, this data helps a startup to understand user behavior within the system and change it accordingly to improve the conversion rate.

In some web apps we develop for our clients, we use a combination of open-source tools - Graylog, a single datastore for all logs and analytical data about app performance, and Grafana, a powerful and flexible data visualization tool, to track existing users' behavior.

If you are interested in setting up a powerful system of software monitoring for your web application, we can help you out! Contact us using the form below for any inquiries.

Reorientation of a Startup’s Focus Based on the Insights

A businessman or an entrepreneur could not always adequately evaluate the market situation and its needs to offer a truly competitive product. So, flexibility is an essential skill for a startup to survive as, sometimes, it has to pivot, i.e. switch its focus and reorient. This is where user feedback and the insights of monitoring come in handy. They signal a startup to timely change the business direction.

This was the case with one of our recent clients, a food startup, whose owner came up with an idea of an app to collect employees’ food preferences. Initially, the users were prompted to complete a questionnaire on their food tastes, including most and least favorite products and food they were allergic to, and thus find out food preferences of their colleagues. However, what seemed like a funny experience to the startup founder, turned out to be of zero interest to the users. According to the first users' in-app feedback, they did not care much whether the colleague next door was a vegan or preferred a medium-well steak. Moreover, the data collected by Google Analytics hinted that the back-end implementation of the founder’s idea was not that much of a success. It took too long for the app to load, so users often lost their patience before answering the final question of the food preferences questionnaire. This fastened the startup’s CEO idea to re-shape the application.

When Logicify team came onboard, the startup’s focus shifted from individual to corporate food preferences (from B2C to B2B market). After one more iteration, an automated personal web-assistant allowed for an easy food choice for catering during corporate meetings, conferences, outdoor activities. All in all, the startup survived and succeeded because the founder was far-seeing to collect and interpret the feedback from target audience and Google Analytics. Based on these findings, he re-orientate the startup focus.

Studying the Lesson of Failure

Just as no one goes into their wedding day planning a divorce, no one starts a business thinking it would mess up. Success is the best motivator as nobody wants to fail. Every day numerous startups sink, in particular because of their overweening conceit, lack of market expertise, or failure to collect their users’ feedback and track their behavior. While some teams fall victims to setbacks and wave the white flag, others learn from them, pivot and succeed. Flexibility and feedback “interpreting” skills are essential for a startup to find the right niche in the market and switch the focus in the right direction.

Logicify can help you tune a reliable monitoring system to track both user behavior inside your app and its performance in every specific moment. We've configured such a system for numerous internal and external projects, and it proved effective in the long-run. Contact us via hi@logicify.com or submit the form below to discuss this monitoring toolkit.

Inquiries about Logicify software monitoring system?

Let us know if you have questions about our software monitoring system or need to set a similar one up for your web application. We'll be glad to assist!

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