The Obvious Use Case

A while back, I was scheduled for a meeting showcasing software and how it can help engineers design a better product. Paraphrasing the customer, “It’s interesting, but probably too time consuming and it’s five figure price tag is out of our current budget.” I pivoted to an entirely different way to use the product, using it as a marketing and sales tool that would help their customers visualize what their purchase would do. Paraphrasing again, “We could probably use 2 licenses.”

It’s been shown through history, the better product, whatever that means, doesn’t always win. Sometimes it’s the right sales strategy. Or it’s the right marketing method. Or it’s the right time.

It’s impossible to know what will work without trying. And this is where innovation is required. A couple thoughts on increasing the odds of being the product that succeeds by finding the right use cases:

  1. Build a community around the product and build the product with the community. They are the ones that are likely to show you all the unique use cases. Community creates the network effect. The more people involved, the more they invite friends and the more valuable it becomes.
  2. Hire creatives, people that like to connect and share, and people that have backgrounds that understand your audience. Ideally, all of those in the same person. They will make the connections, personal and in idea form, that will transform the product.
  3. Be generous and share plans in advance of development if you can. If you’re not doing top secret government work, it will prevent you from doing work your audience doesn’t care about. Wasted time is a lost opportunity that could have been spent doing the work your audience cares about.

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