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A Summary of

Don’t compete on features

by
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
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Adding features to a product adds more power to the product, yet at the same time adds complexity that makes it hard for new users to even get started. Create a product that competes because it’s taking a fundamentally different position in the market. 

Know Your Market

  • If the market is full of complex enterprise tools, then make a simpler product aimed at individuals. 
  • If the market is made up of fancy, high-end wines, then create one that’s cheaper, younger, and more casual. 
  • If the market is full of long-form text blogging tools, then make one that makes it easy to communicate in 140 character bursts. 
  • If computers are techy and cheap, then make one that’s human and more premium. 

Ramifications for startups building initial versions of a product

  • Don’t compete on features
  • If your product initially doesn’t find a fit in the market (as is common), don’t react by adding additional new features to “fix” the problem.
  • Make sure your product reflects the market positioning
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