Let’s look at how most software is developed. I’m not talking about those shiny SaaS products like Slack. Those were built for developers, by other developers. No, I’m talking about the large underwater iceberg of boring software running enterprises, governments, hospitals and nuclear reactors. Real-world software. Software outside the Silicon Valley tech bubble.
Step one. Businesspeople visit potential customers. This activity is commonly called market research and/or gathering customer requirements. In the end, it’s just some people visiting some other people. More importantly, the businesspeople are observers of real problems the customers face. The businesspeople don’t experience them first-hand; they only see how others experience it. This distinction is important.
Step two. After having observed customers problems, they come up with a product which attempts to solve at least one of them. In our industry, this product is software.