The Verge published a great piece about the end of Rdio. I never used it, I was a stubborn iTunes user until I started using Spotify. Two parts that got my attention:
Looking back, some former employees say Rdio sometimes focused on the wrong things. It invested many product cycles in refining its queue — a place to collect things you want to listen to later. Every other music streaming service offers a queue that’s a simple list of tracks. But if you dragged an album or a playlist into Rdio’s queue, Rdio would recognize it as a distinct object, so you could drag and drop an album above a track, or a full playlist below an album. “At the end of the day, that was not a major differentiating factor,” says Wilson Miner, who led design at Rdio from its launch until May 2012. “If we hadn’t had something like that, nobody would have noticed and it would have been fine. I still wish we could have solved it, but it was more of a personal quest than a brutally honest assessment of priorities.”
Focussing on the right thing to build is the primary job of a product manager and at the same time the most difficult one. It is ok to build some stuff as a personal quest, but it should be presented like that and not as a feature that will keep the company afloat. The better you can separate must haves from the nice to haves, the more effective you will be.
That classic startup mistake of worrying about being profitable and having a business that makes any sense before you’ve reached this astronomical growth curve.
Yes, worrying about growth is important, but I don’t agree with the point that becoming profitable and thinking about that is a “classic startup mistake”. Scale can be part of your business model which should also fit in a bigger plan to become profitable. Not sure why Miner thinks being not profitable is the way to go, because (and this is mentioned as well) scale does not equal profitability.