Analyzing the final product: staring at the scoreboard
Let’s say you’re building a product, and you do some competitive analysis to see how others have addressed the same problem. Sounds reasonable, right?
Here’s the trouble: if you can only look at the final product, and can’t see any of the work that led up to it, you’re missing most of what’s interesting. What trade-offs did the team make based on what they learned along the way? What’s planned for the next release? How did they arrive at their design decisions?
It’s like staring at the scoreboard of a baseball game after it’s over. If you didn’t watch the game, you won’t get much out of it. You missed all the action.