I’ve talked a lot in my recent podcasts and blogs about the need to think differently, and to think big in order to stand out. My guests on the show have been giving you tips for succeeding in the business software world by tweaking your product strategies and vision.
Here are some of the top things I have seen in the experts I am interviewing and speaking with.
1. Ensure Your Core Differentiation Is Hard to Copy
Companies exist to solve a problem. However, to reach hypergrowth status and outlast your competition, you need to solve a problem in such a way that it can’t be easily replicated by competitors So, think about it: What sets your business apart? What have you defined as your unique value proposition?
When your product is different, you won’t have too many competitors, you’ll get loyal followers (if they like your product), and you can charge a better fee since they won’t be able to find it anywhere else on the market.
2. Plan from Your Vision, Not from Your Present
I have written before about the power of addressing the outcomes rather than outputs/inputs. Shifting your product strategy from output-based to outcome-based could be an essential element of outlasting your competition. My advice: First outline your unique vision, then start your planning from your vision, instead of from your present.
This way you can more effectively challenge the status quo to remove what’s broken in your market, and quickly visualize the kind of results your customers are dreaming of to achieve.
As one of my guest CEOs Adam Martel said, “[Our competition was] all selling the cup that holds the water, but nobody’s doing anything with the water itself. What we wanted it to be was the outlet of all of this data. ….[Now] we’re predicting the right donor at the right time. We’re increasing activity for the frontline fundraisers. What that’s proven with all the customers is that if you get to the right donors at the right time and you help your best of relationship builders build more relationships, that they’re going to generate more revenue.”
3. Leverage the Power of the Crowd Rather Than Rely on Your Own Experts Only
Use the crowd to solve complex problems. Thinking you got what it takes in-house is like you are putting all of your people in a smartness contest with everyone else in the world. They are not going to win, no matter how much money you give them. Instead, find smart ways to utilize the combined brainpower and diversity of people outside your organization. Start a contest around a specific challenge for example. You’ll be amazed by the perspective shifts you’ll see – allowing you to outsmart your competition in many ways.
4. Focus on What Moves the Needle, Say No to the Rest
Much like many other business software companies you probably have a laundry list of 100 to 200 things you think you need to deliver with your solution to please your customers. However, identifying the ten that will indeed move the needle is the critical thing to do to outlast your competition. By narrowing down your focus, you’ll be able to deliver remarkable quality and impact that people will remember.
All the other product investments become fluff when compared to the few that move the needle – the ones that drive the value people are ready and willing to pay, and even surrender other vendors for.
It’s this product strategy and perspective that drive the focus of my weekly podcasts and blog posts. Make sure to tune into Value Inspiration so that you, too, can get new inspirations on how to drive innovation, create momentum and stay remarkable!