In enterprise software, there are really two approaches to product development: “Me Too” and “Me First”. While there are often timing, budgetary and organizational constraints that must be factored in, here are a few common stable characteristics for each type of product manager or strategist.
Me Too: Focus on Giving the People What They Want
The “Me Too” product people are the planners. Most product people fall into this category.
- You prefer to iterate slowly and carefully manage product risk by following a proven path to success.
- You have done excellent due diligence on what your competitors are up to and take pride in your attention to detail.
- You respond to your competition’s offering with product enhancements that also reflect your customers’ needs.
- You believe it’s important to take a careful, measured approach to product development that accurately reflects the needs of your stakeholders and the current marketplace.
Me First: Focus on Break-through Software Innovation
The “Me First” product people are the do’ers that have the vision to embrace new, unproven technologies that carry greater risk but also greater reward.
- You prefer to move quickly because you believe standing still means you’re moving backwards in your fiercely competitive segment of the enterprise software marketplace.
- You have a natural curiosity and willingness to seek out new embedded technologies, innovative approaches and untapped market opportunities with the goal of constantly evolving and improving your offering.
- You consider customer feedback important but it is not the sole driver for innovation because you believe the customer may not know what they want.
- You are a confident risk taker and prefer to break new ground with every release and blow away your competition over careful iteration.
There is no right or wrong; they are simply different approaches.
Do you have a “Me Too” or “Me First” approach? Comment below.