What’s your product? What’s the value for customers and end-users?

One of the most common mistake made by engineers is their belief that if the product is good, it will sell on its own. Wrong! Here are the reason why:

  • Customer don’t know your company, don’t trust you or don’t know whether you will still be around in 1-3-10 years’ time
  • Customer have never heard about your product
  • Your product is too good / too high capacity, customer needs something simpler
  • The decision to buy is ‘political’, even if your product is the best customers take that of another firm. E.g. “You won’t get fired from taking IBM, McKinsey etc”
  • Your innovation is too disruptive
  • You don’t have the right eco-system to support your product
    • Distribution & After-sales network
    • Network of partners
    • No apps, No accessories

A couple of examples:

  • In the 1980s, Mac was clearly the better product (may be 10 years ahead of its time), but Microsoft / IBM won
  • A telecom operator buys it telecom infrastructure from Huawei because they had faced Nortel Bankruptcy and were worried about the future of Alcatel and Nokia Siemens Networks.
  • You write a book but only 50 people buy it. Another guy write a book that is worse but 5000 people buy it.