What’s a common mistake most product managers make?

Putting customer feedback and validation before market feedback and validation.

Subtle but critical difference.

Customers tell you what they think they want. They’ll tell you what you think you want to hear. You’ll naturally be drawn to confirmation bias (being more receptive to those who tell you what you want to hear).

Listen to customers to learn what not to do.

Markets tell you what’s possible and sustainable. The market reveals the models that work (and don’t), the threats to consider, what has been tried and failed.

Don’t make the mistake of listening to customers while disregarding the market.

Food for further thought…

Market validation is almost never done so look in your organization first and affirm that is (or isn’t).

Are there competitors? Who? How does their model work? How are the funded?

Who wouldn’t eat in or acquire what you’re doing?

Has this been tried before? When? What worked and what didn’t?

What are the proof points in any industry that you idea will work?

The answer to the above is never “none” and too many product managers and founders often think it is. What you’re doing is Never original, so what can you learn from the market?

Customer validation is one on one. Talking to customers, getting feedback, converting them, etc.

overwhelmingly most new things fail because they do customer validation, not market validation.

Every idea can have customers IF the market will bear it. Few ideas survive even if customers like it, if the market won’t support it.