Small teams shouldn’t compete on features

June 04, 2024

If your product is pre-launch and you find yourself saying, “Our competitors have this feature, so we can’t launch without this feature, because otherwise everyone will choose our competitors…”

Uh oh.

If your product has just launched and you find yourself saying, “The three potential customers I talked to this week say they need these three features before they’ll signup, so let’s build those three features and then they’ll signup and we’ll have three new customers…”

Oh no.

And if the way you explain your product to friends and pitch your product to potential customers is “It’s so and so that doesn’t suck” or “A better so and so”.

Stop! You’re competing on features!

And, as a small team with a new product, that’s just not the place you want to be.

I would happily become a customer tomorrow for a feature today

Read in Wimpy voice
Ever been to a seafood restaurant at the beach that has a “Free lobster tomorrow” sign above the cash register?

A potential customer will tell you to your face that if you add just the one feature that they must have today, they will definitely buy the product tomorrow.

And it will be just a true as that sign at that campy seafood restaurant. But not as funny.

You want to confidently be able to say to that potential customer, “No, it doesn’t do that, and it will never do that or that… but it does do this,” and still have the person’s attention.

You want customers who believe in your product’s unique mission and will –because of what your product stands for and does that no other product does — stick around through the growing pains.

That job at the feature factory doesn’t pay

And the benefits are terrible
I recently paid for Blush both because the product builds customized illustrations in a way that no other product before it has, and because I believe in their mission and the way they spotlight and compensate their illustrators.

They’re a small team with a new product that clicked with me and my needs.

That’s what you’re looking for.

If you don’t have it yet, keep trying. You’ll know it when you do.