Today I was gazing out of my office window.
What I thought:
Police car. Lights on top of police car. Wow, those look old. Why haven’t those been replaced? Oh, well, I guess those lights are…
Why replace them? Oh, yours have GPS on them? That’s cool. Not replacing them. Oh, yours are integrated with crime reporting? Cool. Not good enough. Oh your lights last 10x longer? Cool, mine aren’t broken yet.
Innovators often focus on their solution, convinced that their solution is better, rationalizing the entire feature set around the premise that it’s better than the competition. It might be, but see it from the other side.
And yes, startup folks love to talk about a solution needing to be 10x better than the incumbent to justify switching costs. But that cliche loses meaning without truly, deeply understanding a person’s psychology, naturally.
I reached the conclusion that the police lights didn’t need replacing on my own. This was easier because I am not selling anyone police car lights. But if I were, I’d have a much harder time being rigorous about what’s worth replacing and what’s not. Keep this in mind with your own product.
Understand this point of view. It’s the only way you can be honest about the value your product can deliver.