Our Product Is Not For You!

I attended a talk several years ago by the CEO of a very successful software company, and afterward a current customer asked about a product enhancement.

Most CEO’s would respond with something like, “It’s on our roadmap” or “That’s good feedback, we’ll take it under consideration.”

Not this CEO! His response, “Our product is not for you!”

The crowd loved his response because this CEO was simply willing to saying “no” to the wrong kind of business, the wrong kind of product enhancements.

Too often we design products for everyone. We design products “by committee” trying to please every internal stakeholder and customer. We build unopinionated products that are great at nothing because they mimick everything our competitors do. Our products can’t even be called a Swiss Army knife, but the cheap knockoff imitation of one.

A lack of specificity as to your product vision and who your customer is will cause you to create an unfocused, low-quality product filled with poorly implemented features.

As a product leader, what can you do today to refine who your customer is and what you are building for them?

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