Yesterday I wrote about my experience taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
Well yesterday late night the side effects of taking the vaccine started showing. I had so much weakness that all night and all day today, I was only sleeping.
Why am I telling this. It’s a known fact that there are side effects of taking the vaccine.
What is important though is that I got blindsided by the intensity of the weakness. Due to this I had to cancel all my meetings today.
In the technology market you can get blindsided so very often. A lot of you may have heard of the mobile phone brand Nokia. It was the number one brand and then it got blindsided by Apple with their iPhone. Today you don’t even hear about Nokia mobile phones.
For a product manager in the technology space, where the pace of change is so rapid its very easy to get blindsided and suddenly your product is not needed by your customers.
For today, this is all since I am still having a lot of weakness.
In marketing if someone tells you they don’t have competition – then either there is no market or our person does not know where to play.
In the technology field you may have a window of opportunity of say a few months or maybe a year with your new product, but if you don’t see competition even on the horizon then you could be in the wrong market and that’s the scariest piece for a product management person in the technology field.
Most technology products or services are not born out of a specific need in the market. Most of the times companies keep tinkering and integrating various sub-modules to create a new product which the Product Management people are supposed to take to the market and convince their sales people to sell.
When you compete, a few things happen
- It means that there’s a definable market. You can choose a niche within that market where you may have less competition or where you define the niche. Your positioning improves because someone has already taken one slot in the market.
- It also means that you can aspire to pick up a larger piece of the market at a later date, so its not a FAD which will disappear as it came
- Competition also helps you fine tune your product or service better. Since you see the challenges the competition is facing in providing the same product or service, you can account for it already
- When you fight against a better competition you also hone your skills
I always get scared when I don’t see competition, even if its coming from a technology which is “n-1” from what we have, because then we know that there’s a market for the “n-1” at least. We just need to find enough people who have got disillusioned with it.
On the other hand I always admire how big companies like say P&G, Unilever or IBM etc. like to look at picking up a bigger piece of the market. They have such systematised methods to scale. I get to learn so much when they are in competition or when we join hands with one large company and compete against another large company. Its the best place to see how manager’s react , how decisions get made.
As they say, when you play a game against a better competitor you come out the winner either way – if you win, you win, but even when you lose you learn of the multiple things that you didn’t know off.
So always welcome competition.
Till next time then.
For product management in a technology company, the big challenge after identifying a single niche then targeting it, is the adaption of the technology.
Most technology based products are integration of existing resources. Very rarely are they designed from scratch for every component.
If by chance your product is designed from scratch then this problem is even more acute for you.
If the end user of your technology is not able to adapt your product easily as in 2-3 steps then even the most technologically superior product will be sent the grave. The human brain does not like change and therefore people resist any kind of new products. This is the biggest blockage for new technologies.
Look at Instagram or WhatsApp, such easy to use apps, therefore the adoption is in millions. It does not mean that the product is simple. I am sure the complexity is enormous, but they have kept it hidden from the customer. The user experience is very elegant and easy to use
Similarly the Iridium satellite phones, with the best pedigree and the ability to connect you from wherever you are in the world, bombed.
When doing product management of technology based products, you need to keep in mind if the existing infrastructure willsupport your technology. How much will the user have to unlearn to use your technology. What can be the simple things you can do to increase adoption.
This is a very complex subject so we will cover over multiple posts.
Till next time then.