Feature-Rich or Feature-Poor: Entrepreneur Strategies

Once entrepreneurs figure out what products they are going to sell, they still need to select approaches on how they will deliver its features to customers. These are called feature selection strategies.

  • Feature-rich. Start-ups that engineer products have an option to introduce to the market products that are feature-rich. The advantage of this strategy is that customers who are comparing your product against entrenched pro­ducts on a feature-by-feature basis are more likely to select your product. If you are targeting a fairly general market and/or products are in a fairly mature stage of their life cycles [MOO95], you may have no choice. In such cases, order qualifiers (order qualifiers are those features, which if absent, will mean customers are unlikely to purchase) include a long list of features.
  • Feature-poor and build capability slowly. For products early in their product life cycles [MOO95], or when you are targeting a newly recognized segment of a broader market, building a feature-rich product could be dangerous (you may build the wrong product) and expensive. Instead, a better strategy could be to build a smaller, simpler, feature-poor product, sometimes called a minimally viable product (MVP). Then you carefully select representatives from your target market to serve as beta customers who can experiment with the product, provide feedback, and you slowly migrate the product toward a richer and richer set of features based on customer feedback and customer demand. In The Lean Startup, Ries recommends offering the MVP to an even broader market to fully validate not only your features but also your assum­ptions concerning market penetration, price tolerance, sales model, etc.

The above extracted from my latest book, Will Your New Start Up Make Money? Buy your copy at http://www.amazon.com/Will-Your-Start-Make-Money-ebook/dp/B00JOOZQNE.