Band-Aid Product or Scalable Product: Using Testing as Fuel

Hanisha Arora
3 min readMay 23, 2024


If opening this article would have taken more than 2–3 seconds, you’d probably be annoyed. This is the expectation we have now from anything we use. Whether it’s internet speed, instant Google searches, Netflix streaming, or 10-minute delivery, we demand speed and efficiency. First movers have a clear advantage. However, 6% of products fail each year due to outdated or poor solutions. Launching something fast is great, but maintaining and improving it over time is the real challenge.

Quick Fixes vs. Sustainable Solutions

Think of it like this: Every quick fix you make because someone needs it is like slapping a Band-Aid on a wound. It might work initially, but as your product grows, these Band-Aids pile up, making it harder to manage. Soon, your team is stuck in “firefighting” mode (fixing problems) instead of building exciting new features. This is called accumulating technical debt.

The Two Approaches

Band-Aid Product

These products focus on releasing fast. The time spent on building the product is initially low and keeps on increasing with time. As the product ages, the time spent on firefighting increases significantly due to undetected bugs and issues accumulating over time.

  • Early Stages: Minimal investment in testing leads to rapid progress, but the product is unstable.
  • Mid-Life: Bugs start to surface, increasing the time needed for firefighting.
  • Late Stages: Firefighting consumes most of the development time, stalling further innovation.

Scalable Product

These products focus on building quickly but with a solid foundation, releasing as MVPs. The time spent on firefighting remains relatively low and stable throughout the product’s lifecycle. This frees your team to focus on innovation and pushing the product forward.

  • Early Stages: Higher initial investment in testing slows down initial progress but ensures a more stable product.
  • Mid-Life: Fewer bugs surface, maintaining a lower level of firefighting.
  • Late Stages: Continuous investment in testing allows for more innovation and less firefighting, leading to a more robust product.

The Choice is Clear

Do you simply patch things up as they break, or do you build a product that thrives and constantly improves?

The Role of Testing

When testing happens at the right time and is done thoroughly, it transforms your product from a collection of quick fixes to a product that is working on solving a real problem. Here’s how:

  1. Less Firefighting: Catch bugs early, and you spend less time fixing them later.
  2. Happier Users: A smooth-running product with fewer bugs leads to happier, more satisfied customers.
  3. Innovation on Autopilot: With fewer bugs to worry about, your team can focus on developing exciting new innovations.
  4. Save Money: Detecting and fixing bugs early is significantly cheaper than dealing with a buggy mess after launch.

The Bigger Picture

Testing isn’t just about fixing things; it’s about building a product that can continuously evolve. This approach leads to:

  • Reduced development costs by minimizing bug fixes after launch.
  • Improved product quality for a better user experience.
  • Enhanced team productivity by focusing on innovation and new features.

To Wrap Up

So, are you just doing testing as a step or is it part of your product’s development process? The difference between a Band-Aid product and a problem-solving product lies in your approach to testing.

Originally published at on May 23, 2024.