September 20

Out-Innovating Your Competition

What should drive your decisions about the problems you solve as a product person? Should you focus all of your attention on matching and beating your competitors? Should you forget your competitors and just focus on your customers?  Should you try and split the difference? While decision making as a product person may not involve fifty shades of gray, it’s not black and white either. You need to help customers solve their problems in innovative ways that your competitors can’t match.

Out innovating the competition. Being a product person focused on planning product strategy and charting out your own product roadmap is difficult enough. What happens when you factor in the competition? Jessica Hall of 3Pillar Global joined Mike Belsito to discuss how to stay ahead of our competition when it comes to managing products.

(via @JessHallway)

Should competitive products drive your roadmap? Product management can “feel like walking a tightrope without a safety net. In many cases, you’ll face conflicting agendas from different constituencies — and you’ll need to meet those conflicting demands, or at least address them all, simultaneously.” One of the trickiest balancing acts is to match your competitors who all offer features X, Y, and Z while meeting the demands of your executives and sales team to differentiate your product from your competitors. Maddy Kirsch explains how you can alter your product roadmap strategy to address this conundrum and others like it.

(via @MaddyKirsch)

Secrets to out-innovating your competition. Tracy Leigh Hazzard learned from 20+years of innovating that while it is so incredibly important to be the one out in front, the competition is very stiff. Tracy talked with Dr. Nilda Perez, to tap into her wisdom on the trends that shape the future of business and ways that you can position your organization for perpetual innovation, future growth, and resilience. Tracy shared six things to keep in mind when preparing to “leave your competition in the dust and head into rare me-only innovation territory.”

(via @hazzdesign)

Four ways to out-innovate your tasteless competition. Innovating means taking a risk, and it makes you vulnerable to successful copycats. If you don’t improve existing products, create new ones, or embrace emerging markets at the right time you’ll be outpaced by your competitors. Ryan Blair describes four ways you can channel your competitiveness into innovation to survive.

(via @ryanblair)

5 more ways to out-innovate the competition (even the not so tasteless ones). “Have you ever noticed that really successful companies, in addition to being leaders in their respective markets, tend to be driven by innovation? It should come as no surprise that they also tend to be among the fastest-growing and most profitable companies in America, too.” Jeffrey Palermo put together five ways you can out-innovate your competition and establish market dominance for your company.

(via @jeffreypalermo)

Kent J McDonald

About the author

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent practices his craft with a variety of product teams and provides just in time resources for product people at and Product Collective. When not writing or product managing, Kent is his family’s #ubersherpa, listens to jazz and podcasts (but not necessarily podcasts about jazz), and collects national parks.


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