Does the product enhance your vision?

You’re running a business or managing a product portfolio and someone – you, an employee or a customer – comes with an idea for a complementary product. You know how to do it, there is an opportunity, at least one customer and you develop it. Maybe it even gets successful.

Fast forward to the future – someone asks what’s up with this product? It doesn’t fit with the rest. What do you do?

Sometimes you need to clean up your portfolio and sometimes, you simply need to kill a product. If the product is successful, you can also try to sell it.

For many people the idea is outrageous. You want to sell a profitable successful product? The guys are 37 signals went even further: they set a deadline and a price. If they don’t sell it, they are going to retire it. The blog post caused quite some furious reactions in the comments.

Jason’s post makes total sense. Sortfolio is not their focus. They have a clear vision and focus, there’s a product that blurs that vision. It’s like a stain on your glasses. Removing it is the right thing to do. If you can get 2 years revenue for it so much better.

As a CEO (or a product manager or whatever the role) you have to know what product to build and what product to kill. The question “Does it follow our strategic direction and vision” is one of the most important factors when making a decision. Too many people/business ignore it or worse, they don’t have a vision.


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