There Are More Beginners Than Experts

There are more beginners than experts. This is why it can be more important to focus on the beginner level than the expert level. As humans, we are drawn towards complex things. We have a built-in sense that something more complex must mean it has higher quality. And so many systems are designed for the expert user. We add features because the expert users want it, but we forget about those who have a hard time using what we built for the first time.

Our thinking is that if we can convince people to practice enough to be experts, they will love all of the expert features available. But the chasm between beginner and expert is significant. And we are expecting people to put in enough deliberate practice that they will move from beginner to expert.

I set forward the hypothesis that if your target audience for your product was beginners:

  • You would have a significant (and unending) market for your product. Think of kindergarten or code-boot camps – there is always something new that people want to learn what the experts know.
  • The impact that you would have is significant. While it is necessary to have experts, sometimes an expert is left doing work that anyone could do simply because they must. Once someone has learned the alphabet as a beginner, it is very hard to become an ‘expert’ alphabet-er. Whether you are an expert or a beginner, writing the alphabet looks exactly the same.

My Hypothesis

The hypothesis for my new software product is this:

I believe that building an web-app creator
for people who know nothing about web-app development
will mean

  1. that people will build apps for themselves that they can use in their work and
  2. that people will build apps that many people in their organizations can use.