Creating a product that people love is no simple task. If it was, we’d have more than one Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey. Many entrepreneurs become well-known and respected because of the knowledge, hard work, and dedication they put into their businesses. Often because finding a product people need and want involves innovation and years or testing, design, and research.

With so many steps and factors to consider, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. That’s normal, and there are plenty of books and articles by people who have succeeded telling others how it needs to be done. However, the greatest advice I can give inventors is also the most simple. You must forget about yourself. Instead of focusing on what you want, understand your audience and listen to their feedback. It’s also important to learn how and when to say no.

1. Prioritize Customer Discovery

The most common reason a product fails is simply that nobody wants it. According to CB Insights, 42% of startups fail because the market had no need for their products or services. Business leaders can avoid this by simply determining whether there’s a need for their product before they begin.

Seth Radman is the Co-Founder and CTO of Infinite Giving, a fintech platform for nonprofits. Radman has cultivated a love of inventing new ways to solve problems for customers since childhood when he created his first business — a lemonade stand. Since then, Radman has built four companies, sold two of them, and created over 40 apps. When it comes to the first step of building a product people will love, Radman suggests learning everything you can about your potential customer and their problems.

‘Before you can create a solution, you must determine the root of a problem,’ Radman says. ‘A company, product, or software will be worthless if it does not solve a problem or situation a client is already facing. Obsessing over the needs of your customers is a process I have labeled ‘customer discovery.’ I do not start building anything until I have completed this process. Otherwise, I will build a product or service based on my wants and needs, and it will fall flat among the very people I claimed to be building it for.’

Pre-market research on your potential customers can take many forms. You may consider sending a prototype of your product to potential clients that fit your customer archetype, or you can identify trends in client requests. CEO Case Kenny suggests simply communicating with your target audience.

‘Pre-market research is everything,’ Kenny says. “Find what you think is your ideal audience and ask them. Consumers are surprisingly eager to provide feedback on ideas, so ask away. Ask them what they think about your product or service concept. That feedback is crucial prior to going to market.’

2. Continue Listening to Your Customers

Once you’ve released a product, do not stop listening to your clients about how they are experiencing your product. Customers truly are the core of your business. You need to be in tune with their needs from beginning to end. In order to bring products to life using great user experience design, you must be open to feedback from your users.

Collecting information regarding your client’s user experiences will also give you the opportunity to compile data regarding your target market, which can inform your future product upgrades and creations. This information allows you to understand the different ways your audience uses your products. User flows can also be used to segment events and track conversion rates.

The data you uncover may surprise you. Your customers may be doing things you never expected with your product. Instead of panicking or trying to educate your consumers, you can turn these discoveries into opportunities.

Taha Elraaid, CEO of Lamah Technologies, is building Libya’s first completely digitized address system. He reminds entrepreneurs that some of the world’s most significant products were created to serve one need and evolved to serve another.

‘Your mission may not be to gather new data but to collate and use it in a new way,’ he says. ‘Facebook didn’t start as a place for people to sell products, promote businesses, and advertise. It started as a social platform and grew in response to needs. Amazon started as an online bookstore, and once Bezos realized how valuable the system was, he grew it.’

3. Learn How to Say No

Oftentimes, an idea for a product will start with one good idea. Over time, inventors will be tempted to lose that initial focus as ideas continue to flow or as customers request additional features. As crucial as it is to listen to your clients, the intended value of a product will decrease as the scope of the project increases. Learning to say no, when appropriate, allows a product owner to maintain focus on the solution that will best serve their intended audience.

In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple. The company was struggling to survive and desperately trying to create a single product that people would love. Jobs used his ability to say no to transform Apple into one of the world’s top multinational technology companies.

Clay Clark writes, ‘Jobs explained in his biography that one of his first key strategic moves was to say no to as many good product and marketing ideas as possible in order to focus the company’s limited resources on a few great products that he believed to be game-changers. Although most leaders have been encouraged to say yes to good ideas, it was actually Jobs’ ability to say no that in part helped to move the company from barely surviving to thriving.’

According to business founder, Zaid Ammari, saying no to potential customers has many positive outcomes, including an increase in profit and time saved. Saying no also allows you to stay in control of your business.

Ammari says, ‘Clearly stating the value of your services in price negotiations takes some practice, but in the end, you have to trust yourself. The alternative? You will devalue your service, work longer hours for less, and end up potentially hating what you do. You may work for your clients, but the relationship has to work for you.’

Creating a product people love starts with focusing on the people. You have to consider their wants and their needs. However, you also have to be able to tell what projects are worth pursuing. You’ll have to say no to some ideas, but some feedback can be the key to your next success.