“All customers change from something”

November 5, 2011 · 1 min read

Sean Ellis, my favorite blogger who never blogs, has written a rare post, "The Cult of 'Great Product'". A key excerpt on differentiation:

All customers change from something. Generally they either switch from a competitive solution or from just tolerating a problem without a solution. New products should decide on one of these markets. Trying to serve both markets generally leads to failure. ...

If you decide to target “greenfield” people (those without a current solution), then your product roadmap should be focused on simple, effective execution of their desired task. Simplicity is usually much more important for greenfield users than being feature rich. ...

If you are targeting people who will be switching from another solution, then usually features are an important part of people’s decision to try it. ... If you can differentiate on one of the key gripes of the competitive solution, there is a good chance you can be successful. ... You’ll need to both message this differentiation and also deliver on the promise.

Go read the whole thing.

These days I do most of my writing at The Roots of Progress. If you liked this essay, check out my other work there.


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