April 28, 2023
The Psychology of Fear in Digital Product Development
Fear is normal: Accept it
Why should I accept fear?
Yes, it is because when we accept something we acknowledge its existence and once we acknowledge its existence, we can take action to fix it. Most organizations aren’t even ready to admit that they are afraid or fear digital product development.
Acknowledging and accepting fear as a normal human emotion can help us manage it better and prevent it from controlling our growth. It is important to remember that fear can also be a motivating factor that pushes us to take action and achieve our goals.
Next most important aspect that you need to consider is
Identify what are you afraid of ?
You fulfilled the first phase in the process by accepting fear; the next step is to identify what are you scared of?
A company’s most prevalent concerns in digital product development are fear of change, product failure, criticism, fluctuating customer demands. For example, you could be afraid of spending months developing something only to have the client change their mind at the last minute and scrap the whole project, also a lack of skilled talent, fear of the unknown, digital transformation challenges etc.
It might be worth exploring how these fears manifest themselves in day-to-day operations of the company, and what steps can be taken to mitigate them. Let’s move on to next step
Overcome the fear of digital product development
I know it sounds more like, “It’s all easier said than done.” However, with a few strategies and tips, you can move past your fear of digital product development and start building your digital product confidently. Here are some suggestions;
1. Educate yourself to overcome fear of the unknown
Take the time to educate yourself about the digital product development process. Read blogs, attend webinars, and take courses to learn more about the industry, technology, and trends.
- Example: If you’re a small business owner interested in creating a mobile app for your company but feel overwhelmed by the technical aspects, seek out resources that can guide you through the process. By educating yourself on the development process, you’ll gain more confidence and reduce your fear of the unknown.
2. Start small to test the waters
You don’t have to build the perfect product on your first try. Starting with a small digital product project allows you to test the waters and learn from your mistakes before investing too much time and resources into a larger project.
- Example: If you want to build a mobile app, start with a small app that addresses a specific need rather than aiming for an all-inclusive app from the start. This will help you to collect user feedback and discover any problems that need to be solved before releasing a more robust version of the app.
3. Accept failure
Again here acceptance plays a huge role as viewing failure as a learning opportunity rather than a setback. Learn from your mistakes and use them to improve your next digital product.
- Example: Apple’s early product, the Apple III, was a commercial failure due to overheating and software glitches. However, the company learned from their mistakes and improved their product development process, leading to the success of subsequent products like the Macintosh computer and the iPhone.
4. Collaborate with experts
Working with industry experts can bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to the table, leading to more innovative solutions and better outcomes. It can also help you build a network of contacts that can be valuable for future digital projects or career opportunities.
- Example: A young entrepreneur starting a tech company can collaborate with experienced software developers, marketers, and investors to create a successful product launch and long-term success ultimately leading to new business opportunities that can help the company grow and expand.
5. Iterative Testing
Iterative testing should take place at every stage of product development. When you have a new idea, you should put it to the test before implementing it. When you begin developing a feature, you should also test it on a regular basis. It involves conducting repeated experiments on your product’s features to evaluate their effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.
- Example: In software development, iterative testing can involve running multiple rounds of user testing and gathering feedback to make necessary changes and improvements to the product. This can help ensure that the final product meets the needs and expectations of the users and delivers a high-quality experience.
6. Encourage open communication
The most powerful weapon against fear is open and consistent communication. When you get opinions and suggestions from different departments it helps in addressing issues before they become major problems and it builds a culture of trust and transparency within an organization.
When employees feel heard and valued, they are more likely to speak up about potential issues and work collaboratively towards solutions. This ultimately leads to a more productive and positive work environment.
It takes time and effort to overcome fear of digital product development, but with these strategies, you can move past your fear and build the digital product of your dreams. It’s important to keep in mind that mistakes, failures are a natural part of the process, and they can actually help you learn and improve.
But how can we fuel fear as a gear to headstart the journey?
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain
If you are thinking that once you gain knowledge of everything you will knock out fear forever from your life. Then you are wrong, fear will always be there but eventually you will learn to resist it by building the talent bridge i,e
Fill the Talent gap
You cannot fight the battle ill-equipped. You need the right people with the right skills at the right time to set a standard product.
Without the right team and mindset, fear can paralyze progress and prevent innovation. It’s crucial to invest in developing the necessary skills and cultivate a culture of growth to succeed in the digital product development industry; it also enables organizations to adapt to changing market conditions and stay ahead of the competition.
Fear of criticism can be crippling, but it is necessary
Negative feedback is the biggest nightmare for any organization that has been working hard in the digital product development process, But you cannot know the drawbacks of digital product development if you never received any unfavorable feedback.
It is important for product development teams to understand that constructive criticism is a necessary part of the development process and that it can ultimately lead to a better end product.
By learning to accept and utilize feedback, developers can improve their skills and create more successful products.
Small successes are still successes
Congratulations, you have discovered the secret to becoming a fearless digital product developer! Just kidding, that doesn’t exist. But hey, at least now you know how to deal with your fear instead of pretending it doesn’t exist. By taking action despite the fear, you are already ahead of many organizations that remain stagnant due to their fear.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” – Zig Ziglar
Celebrate small successes, they charge you up and people around you. This positive energy can inspire and motivate those around you in numerous ways, they start giving extra efforts to their work.
There is no rocket science involved in overcoming digital product development fears. With the right mindset, tools, and resources, anyone can conquer their fears and successfully develop digital products. By staying focused, persistent, and open to feedback, you can turn your obstacles into opportunities for innovation and success.
Fear exists and is also necessary for new learning, just like how a fear of heights can be overcome by jumping out of a plane…or not, it’s up to you.