A little while ago I read this blog post by Jeremiah Owyang and was pleased to see another blogger take on an issue that we recognize everyday. Is your company market-driven or product-driven?
What’s the difference? Product-driven firms spend their time, money and best talent on creating unique or new products, or on increasing the amount of features that differetiate them from their competition. Market-driven firms spend the same on market research, segmentation and communication efforts.
One trend we have noticed is that many of our customers are often those firms making the transition from product-driven to market-driven. This may happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes engineers are promoted into product management roles and they lack the market analysis skills to do proper marketing. Sometimes product-driven companies find themselves losing market share and realize they’ve lost touch with their customer. Have you ever been tempted to say, “we’ve got the best one out there but no one knows it?” It’s a classic symptom.
For whatever reason it comes to be, a product focus at the expense of market focus is less than ideal. (If we assume a zero-sum gain.) Jeremiah points to some tech-first success stories, but I’m of the opinion you minimize business risk by focusing on a demand that needs to be met than a tech that needs to be sold.