Greg Smith’s Eight Steps to Build Stuff People Need

Is there a step-by-step process to build good software that solves problems and satisfies users?  Greg Smith identified eight clear steps, which “apply as equally to an open-source project and as a closed-source one.”

    1. Find a real user ready to communicate and work with you.
    2. Line up volunteers and evaluate group skills and time.
    3. Discuss with user the key challenges and pick one or two you want to address.
    4. Come up with a design proposal and validate with users.
    5. Code up a prototype or working example.
    6. Run beta test, refine and gather feedback.
    7. Deliver code and give great support in the early going.
    8. Go back to step 1 or to step 6 and keep at it 🙂

Source: Greg Smith Joins OLPC as Product Manager,

Original source: Email from Greg on Grassroots mailing list

Do you agree with Greg’s process?  How would you improve it?  What is a “real user”?  What is “group time”? Why do we need to evaluate user skills and time?

Have you ever received or witnessed “great [customer] support in the early going”?

This entry was posted in Career.

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