Problem-centric Products

Some businesses have a better understanding of their company’s products than they do of their customers’ problems. That’s understandable because it’s easier to focus on the thing you build, you control, you sell. Customer problems are slippery, complex, and sometimes uncomfortably unrelated to your product. The result can be a very product-centric message. Ever go to a website full of product features and information, and have a hard time figuring out what the thing is supposed to do?

One problem with a product-centric message is that the hard work of mapping problems to your product is left up to your customer. If it’s too hard to figure out if a product actually will solve my problem, I may just give up. That’s why it’s so important to deeply understand the challenges faced by your customers, and speak to the problems first whenever possible.

Of course nothing is new; a search quickly turned up this nice example: “Sell the Problem” by Seth Godin.

I’m using these principles to create a new product I’m working on for WANdisco. Listening to people tasked with solving specific problems gives me a clear idea of the challenges they face. We can then take a deep look at the technologies we have at our disposal for creating products that solve those problems. Then we also hope there’s a measure of inspiration with the perspiration, as Edison suggested: can we wrap up everything we’ve learned into a solution that goes past solving problems and into enabling previously unrevealed possibilities?

That’s the high bar we hope to reach: transformative solutions inspired by real problems.  Although it’s likely to be powered by WANdisco’s transformative replication technology, you’ll know from the start, YOUR problems were where we started looking first.

The problems we know best have to do with global and local multi-site, replication, high availability, and scalability.  If you are experiencing this with an existing application, let us know!

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