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The Innovator's Dilemma: Why Product-Focused People Shouldn't Fear Launching Subpar Products

Product-focused people must be aware of the Innovator's Dilemma. The lesson is not to fear launching a subpar product into the market, as it can cater to an underserved niche and be improved iteratively over time. Sony's success in the radio market demonstrates this.

The Innovator's Dilemma is a theory that warns of the dangers of failing to adapt to changing markets and technologies. In the 1950s, the radio market was dominated by big players RCA and Zenith, who sold expensive, high-quality devices. However, when a small Japanese company named Sony entered the market, they disrupted the status quo by selling cheaper, lower-quality transistor radios licensed from technology by AT&T.

While the big players in the market initially ignored Sony's product, they eventually found success by catering to an underserved niche in the market. This allowed them to gain a foothold and refine their technology over time, leading to innovations that eventually transformed the industry.

The lesson from this story is that product-focused individuals should not be afraid to launch something subpar into the market. By doing so, they may uncover an underserved niche that is perfect for their product. Over time, they can iteratively improve their offering to become truly innovative and capture a larger market share.

However, it's important to note that the Innovator's Dilemma is not just about launching subpar products, but also about being aware of and adapting to changes in the market and technology. Product-focused individuals must remain vigilant and open to pivoting their strategy if necessary to remain competitive.

Therefore, it's essential to continuously monitor market trends, conduct thorough customer research, and invest in innovation to stay ahead of the curve. By doing so, product-focused individuals can avoid falling victim to the Innovator's Dilemma and instead become industry leaders through their innovative offerings.

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