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Product Vision mistakes
Bloozle – the Startup that never was - Part III

Continued from - The Concept (Bloozle – the Startup that never was - Part II)

‘Identify a need’ – it is said. We did exactly the thing – the need was clear: information overload requires an aggregator (or segregator as we called it); we wanted to build one.

But call it limitation of technologies of the times (2004-6) or our inability (ignorance?) to harness them, but the concept of aggregating feeds based completely on automated algorithms did not appeal to us. Instead we decided to develop a Feed Reader for users which would be our means to enabling aggregation.

However, once we set out to build an RSS reader – we got too engrossed in it. The means became the end – we got lost in the barrage of features which we needed on the reader to make it more user friendly to our users.

Even worse, unfortunately for us, we came up with a RSS reader just when RSS reader usage peaked and was just about to start its decline [RSS is dead]. Being at its peak, the major user share was taken by the big players (Google, Bloglines, Newsgator) – and our bug-ridden product became a student experiment never to see the number of even a 100 users.

The key reason, in hindsight was to leave to vision of the goal and follow a highway which led to a different direction. Just because the road is a highway does not mean that it leads to your destination and not every wave can be ridden.

We ran on the RSS Reader highway and tried to ride on the RSS wave, in pursuit of an audience which was never our target, using the right concepts (rating, tagging) but for the wrong purpose, concentrating on features (like a ‘post filter’ within the reader) which had nothing to do with our core product/service and hence we failed.

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