Recommendation engines are arguably one of the trendiest uses of data science in startups today. How many new apps have you heard of that claim to “learn your tastes”? However, recommendations engines are widely misunderstood both in terms of what is involved in building a one as well as what problems they actually solve. A true recommender system involves some fairly hefty data science — it’s not something you can build by simply installing a plugin without writing code. With the exception of very rare cases, it is not the killer feature of your minimum viable product (MVP) that will make users flock to you — especially since there are so many fake and poorly performing recommender systems out there.