I feel the same way. Being the “the client” and launching my own saas has almost sabotaged my 9-5 programming career in ways I didn’t expect.
My co-workers spends loads of time gold plating features that end users have never seen or provided feedback on. I’m constantly trying to remind them about importance of customer feedback, understanding how your users are currently using the application and running “leaner”.
The other day the team I’m currently on spent hours implementing “fluff” UI features that nobody asked for. Its really frustrating to have to ask “did our users request that?”.
Just knowing the basics of internet marketing has been proving to be frustrating too. Company I currently work for spent 18 months working on a new website. I ask simple things like “whats your current conversion rate?” or “whats your most visited page in google analytics?” and people respond with “oh do we even have google analytics installed?”.
I wasn’t prepared for this at all. When I quit my job the last time I knew I could just get another one and try again. I didn’t realize I’d be constantly frustrated by my very talented but programmer-only co-workers.
I think if I never get a product off the ground I have a future in some kind of software marketing consultant or something but I don’t have the credentials for that yet.