Enjoyed this post from Asymco. Almost wish he didn’t choose the iPhone as the example product given the comments de-evolve into something not related to the article.
Some good nuggets from it.
Disruption theory has taught us that the greatest danger facing a company is making a product better than it needs to be. There are numerous incentives for making products better but few incentives to re-directing improvements away from the prevailing basis of competition.
It’s easy to see over-service in the rear view mirror when looking at a multi-year pattern. The trouble is that by the time you see the data, it’s too late. How do you tell you’re on the cusp of good enough, subject to imminent disruption before you get there?
I consider measuring a product’s absorbability to be a marketing problem. The marketer’s job is to read the signals from the market. Determining absorbability comes down to reading two market signals, both of which must be met before green-lighting an improvement: (a) a product’s improvements must be used and (b) a product’s improvements must be valued. (bold for his emphasis)
Now the problem becomes one of measurement. Of the two, utilization is easier. Data can be gathered on whether a feature is being used. Research methods exist to tell if a feature would be used even if it’s not availableFootnote of (2)**
If a product’s improvements are not used and the buyer will not pay more for them then they are not being absorbed and the effort to develop the improvements should be redirected.