There is almost no product or service on the market that you can’t buy from someone else for almost the same price or even cheaper. It probably will have similar features, visual design and user experience.
If you have a first-mover advantage it will, chances are you will lose it in a matter of a couple of months. If you offer a novelty as “innovation”, at any moment someone else will come with a better version.
Nowadays, in the ocean of useless products that become out of date in weeks or a couple of months, we need more inspiring and compelling product visions. Visions that inspire loyalty, action and creativity. Otherwise we risk to make our product a commodity.
The primary goal of a product vision is to inspire teams to make it a reality. When done well, the product vision may be one of the best recruitment tools a company can have.
A product vision describes the future a company is trying to create. And it usually lays a map for the next five years. For hardware companies, it is up to 10 years. And I would like to add up here that the product vision is not the same as your mission statement.
For a team to be empowered and act with a meaningful degree of autonomy, they must have a deep understanding of a broader context. A vision will make them want to change the world to a better place. It will inspire them to come to work everyday and do the small steps for a greater result. And all starts with a clear product vision and strategy.
The difference between good product vision and strategy is the same as the difference between good leadership and management. Leadership inspires, and management helps us get there. The product vision must be inspiring, and product strategy must be focused.
After analysing companies such as Amazon, Tesla, Apple and Google and other successful startups, I came up with 10 fundamental product vision principles you can steal from them.
These principles will allow you to come up with a compelling product vision:
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe — Simon Sinek
1. Start with why
Could not begin the list without Simon Sinek’s talk Start With Why. The most important point, of course, is to articulate your purpose. Everything else comes from it. Very few people or companies can articulate why they do what they do. By why I mean your purpose, cause or belief — why does your company exist? Why do you get out of bed every morning? And why should anyone care?
In the ocean of peer pressure, constantly lowering prices, matching all competitor’s features, give as much stuff for free as possible — your why is what will bring the customer loyalty to you. Something that will never be exchanged for a better feature or lower price that your competitors can offer.