Radically Honest Blog

Be Different [23/100]

I’m writing 100 posts about product development and product management. For this challenge I take weekly cadence (ruined by war…), so you can expect a new post every week (or less). This is post #23.

I’m reading On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin now. The book is surprisingly deep and examples are vast. One thing caught my attention. Living organisms can occupy the same area when they are different enough. For example, hundreds of different species can co-exist in a small part of a garden.

It seems this is a general rule for evolution in any space, including markets and products. Imagine we have 5 very similar products that have subtle differences. I bet only one or two will survive in several years, since there is no need (no niche) for all of them to co-exist. The winner will take it all.

Now imagine that we have 5 products and every product has quite many unique features. There is a good chance that all these products find some smaller or larger niches to exist 🦄 🐋 🐝.

How to apply this to a product strategy? If you feel that your product is quite similar to existing products on a market, you might try to prioritize unique features that will differentiate your product more. The best situation is when a feature is requested by many customers, and none of your competitors have it. With some features like that it may be enough to carve some good unique niche on a market, survive and grow. Note that the niche itself can be very obscure, but differentiation will help you to discover it.

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