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The Developers Dilemma: Perfect Product Development or Fast Business Validation?

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNPSE,volume 10027)


To find a fast-track to profitability, a startup needs to streamline and speed up two vital processes – developing novel products and finding new markets for their products. These two goals are typically opposed to each other, business development requiring quick iteration and product development requiring focus on quality. This difference in mindsets, where the focus should be on the balance of quality to the business experimentation causes a conflicting environment for the developers to develop products. This problem is aggravated in a startup environment, where the reasons for product failure are not clear, increasing the frustrations felt by the developers. Clear ways to communicate the product goals and even successes between management and developers is needed to create an environment for success. This balancing act between quality and speed to achieve fast product iteration is the developers dilemma.


  • Startups
  • Software development
  • Business development
  • Lean startup
  • Prototyping
  • Agile

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The authors wish to thank Digile’s Need4Speed program ( funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes ( for its support for this research.

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Correspondence to Henri Terho .

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Terho, H., Suonsyrjä, S., Systä, K. (2016). The Developers Dilemma: Perfect Product Development or Fast Business Validation?. In: Abrahamsson, P., Jedlitschka, A., Nguyen Duc, A., Felderer, M., Amasaki, S., Mikkonen, T. (eds) Product-Focused Software Process Improvement. PROFES 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 10027. Springer, Cham.

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