You think of an idea, do some research, build the first version of the product/service and tell your friends, they share it on their social media platforms because they love you. You launch but nobody wants it.

A week later, around 1:09 am, you text a friend:
What do you think about this? Why am I not selling?

Your friend replies:
It’s a nice feature, but it’s not a product.

Products vs features
Read on!!

One of the things I learnt at a former startup was to take a holistic view of a problem understanding all parts of the value chain, before solving the problem.

 Then ask these questions:

· How valuable is this functionality as a standalone product/service?

· How much more valuable is this feature as part of a broader set of features? (Flywheels in business)

· How much of a nice-to-have vs a must-have is this functionality?

· Are there existing products in the market that should add this feature? Why or why wouldn’t they do that?

· Where is the market headed? More standalone features or products that combine features?

These are tough questions and their answers are tailored to different environments and their peculiarities.

PS: My friend and I have a baby in beta,
Check it out, plus we are building a team. Kindly reach out.

Products, Features, and their peculiarities

Like everything in life, nothing is black and white. Real-life has an unhealthy amount of gray areas.

A product in a first-world country (United States) might be a feature in Africa because we have a different set of problems.

A feature can morph into a product and a simple product could get “featurized”. Things change fast around here.

Let’s run through this together to put into perspective:

  • Savings product (crude piggybank a.ka Kolo) and Savings + investment platform(
  • Online consultation Application (Jaracare) and a health micro-insurance, health consultation and health community-based application (
  • An image filter (PicYou) and a photo-sharing app(Instagram)
  • A fitness tracker(Pedometer) and gamified fitness application(Underarmour).

A Framework to help decide whether your great idea is a product or feature

Can an ecosystem or industry get built around the product or does it need to plug into an existing platform to function?

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4 thoughts on “PRODUCTS vs FEATURES

  1. A good read, however, will be much better if the “wordings” can be broken down more for better understanding, or quick understanding.
    I concur that we need to always take a holistic approach to solving problems, and most importantly look at challenges from the perspective of the “immediate” Nigerian market while keeping abreast of global trends. Thank you

    1. Thank you very much Amusan. I will simplify my wordings.

      Thanks again for helping me develop my writing skills. Yea, we must think about the peculiarity of the Nigerian market while keeping abreast of global trends

  2. I did learn new stuff from reading this. It’s quite easy to confuse features and products. Now that clarity has been set before my eyes, I’ll take home the lessons. Thank you.

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