3 Ways to Build a Tech Product Customers Will ‘Actually’ Buy

Is your product worth paying for? Startups should concentrate on getting a "Yes" to that question.

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3. Build something customers feel guilty about not purchasing.

When was the last time you used your gym membership? My guess is it has been a while, but that you’re still paying the monthly fee. Why? Because it’s not about money; it’s about having the service at your disposal — a service that’s more painful to give up in lieu of paying for it, since you know you need it.

Here’s another example. I know so many agencies that pay serious cash for analytics platforms, despite barely knowing how they work and rarely using them. Why? Because they want to boast to clients about using top analytics and monitoring tools. But also because it’s riskier not to have the platforms at their disposal than to continue paying the modest monthly subscription. This is the essence of a sticky product — the kind you should concentrate on building.

To summarize, if you want to bootstrap your business by building a tech product customers will pay for immediately then …

  • Copy other lucrative products
  • Kill your own pain or the pain of your clients
  • Build sticky products

Do one or any combination of these and you can ditch the VC pitch deck for good. Remember: unlike investors, customers don’t care how great your idea is — they care about how well your product kills their pain. Kill pain, make money. Isn’t that why we all wanted to be doctors when we were kids?


Wordsmith turned tech junkie, Joshua Parkinson’s passion for conversation and content led him around the world, and eventually to bootstrap Facebook content manager Post Planner. Joshua lives in San Francisco, CA with his wife and baby. He spends his time being the CCPK (Chief Customer Pain Killer) of Post Planner, a time saving content app for Facebook page managers.

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