My recent internship at Taskade has got me thinking quite a bit about products, and from rather different perspectives too. There’s a difference between building something for fun as a hobby and when the product is the business.
From my internship, I begun to see and understand the different considerations that went into building new features. Being an engineer, it’s easy to simply focus on the technical considerations, but there’s really much more that goes into deciding which features to prioritise.
When the product is the business, you can’t focus solely on building features, you have to take business sustainability into account as well. In the early stages that might look like getting investors and sometimes prioritising their needs over your users’ needs.
Slightly further down the road, you should start thinking about creating a profitable business model for your product, maybe in the form of a pro subscription plan, or in-app purchases or even just ads. This bit is tricky because you have to be really clear on how your product adds value to your users, but this might be a topic for another day.
Product thinking from a business standpoint is definitely very different from an engineering standpoint. Both are just as important, and it’s never as simple as building whatever you want, or always building things your users are asking for. I think it’s good for engineers like myself to be able to see the big picture and understand the company’s high level objectives in order to contribute effectively.