When Product Adoption is Lite

Last week an entrepreneur reached out for help. He’d been working on his startup for two years on the side and had a working product with a number of customer discovery meetings where prospects had expressed interest. Only, even with a fully functional product, adoption has been lite. Meaning, prospects that said they were interested weren’t actually interested once the product was available.

Here are a few thoughts when product adoption is lite:

  • Product usage is oxygen, and without real users, product death is imminent
  • Lack of adoption, even with a functional product, is a sign that there either wasn’t a real need or the product was built in a way that doesn’t provide enough value
  • Finding product/market fit is the most important thing at the start of a startup, and lack of adoption means things aren’t good
  • Prospects will tell you what they want, but things don’t get serious, and the feedback isn’t the best, until they’re actually paying for something (once money changes hands, the feedback is 100x better)

My message to the entrepreneur: figure out how to get 10 raving customers that love the product. Lite adoption means the product isn’t valuable yet, and without a good product, there’s no company.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the challenge of lite product adoption?

One thought on “When Product Adoption is Lite

  1. Great post, Dave. It’s also worth considering if there’s a *distibution* problem.. Have the right prospects been exposed to the product? The “build it and they will come” mentality is fairly common. And you need those early users for feedback to make the product even more valuable.

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