Balancing the Short-Term and Long-Term Product Demands

Recently I was talking to an entrepreneur that’s in the process of changing their data storage architecture as the startup is growing fast and there are increased demands on the database. Only, the app is performing fine and there aren’t any slowdowns right now, but it’s clear that with the continued growth at some point there will be issues. Yet, the team doesn’t know exactly when that will occur, even after some load and stress tests against the system. Now, they’re moving forward with a heavy refactoring of code and changing of the storage architecture.

Balancing the short-term and long-term product demands is never easy. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • What percentage of current customers will appreciate this change? What percentage of desired customers will appreciate this change?
  • Do we have to implement this change eventually? Why? Why not? What instrumentation will help guide our decision making process?
  • What does the current road map have prioritized? What will have to change to make room to implement this long-term product change now?
  • Is the proposed change a temporary solution or will it support growth indefinitely?
  • What are the risks? What might go wrong?
  • How will this change affect our ability to compete in the market?

Balancing short-term and long-term product demands is never easy. Ask these questions and make an informed decision.

What else? What are some more questions to ask when thinking about short-term and long-term product demands?

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