I’m a classic early adopter. I love to try new things. Especially with my current job, I’m getting private beta codes to new Web apps all the time.
If I had one piece of advice to new startups who were building a product, I’d remind them that their goal is to try and fit into your user’s routine.
So often I try an new product for a week. I’ll often really intend to want to use it long term but it never becomes part of my routine. After the week is over, I’ll have forgotten about it. Sadly, this happens all to often.
The trick is… you need to find a way to piggy back on top of a users existing behavior. Instead of asking the user to do some complete new thing for you, find a way to capture their existing activity for your own means. This will increase the likelyhood of success.
Also… I already have about 20 tabs open in Safari at any given time. Is your Web app going to expect me to have anothe open? Does it have to? Could it be a widget that I can stick on my iGoogle page? I use iGoogle as a page where I can aggregate lots of that type of information so I don’t have to have as many tabs open in Firefox.
I guess the moral of the story is that if you want to build a successful product I think it’s important to spend time thinkin about how your product fits into the life of your user.