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  • Writer's pictureLayla Foord

The Feature Race Trap: Differentiation in Business Disruption

It's easy to fall into the feature race trap - the never-ending pursuit of adding more to your product to keep up with competitors. But once you're on that path, it's hard to stop. You invest countless resources, trying to catch up with competitors who might be miles ahead. The reality is, you'll never truly catch up by doing things the same way. The key lies in differentiation - offering something that sets you apart and makes customers choose you over others.

The Allure of Differentiation:

Why should customers switch to you if you're just solving problems the same way as everyone else? To stand out, you need to do it differently - quicker, cheaper, better, easier, or just in a more adorable way. Take the dating app industry as an example. Match, RSVP, and others believed they had it all figured out, until Tinder disrupted the scene with the swipe-left phenomenon. Instead of building complex profiles and search algorithms, Tinder focused on solving the simple "will they like me" problem with a quick and intuitive solution.

There is more to the story than that Tinder is actually a startup funded by an incubator called Hatch Labs part of the company that owns dating sites like and OkCupid – and has over 28% of the $2.1b dating services market . Tinder has made over 1 billion matches, with over 800 million swipes and 10 million matches made per day. Tinder is an example of an incumbent not being afraid to innovate. Read more

Getting to the Core of the Problem:

To break free from the feature race trap, look closely at the problem you're trying to solve. Identify the pain points and needs of your customers. What can you do better or uniquely? Shift your focus from adding more features to delivering a solution that resonates deeply with your audience.

Embrace Speed and Agility:

In today's fast-paced world, speed and agility are paramount. Don't get stuck in lengthy development cycles. Instead, prioritize quick iterations and feedback loops. Test small assumptions and learn from real customer interactions. Embrace your ability to adapt and evolve rapidly.

The Road to Sustainable Success:

Let's reimagine disruption - not as a chaotic race for more features, but as a thoughtful journey towards differentiation. As you shed the feature race mindset, you'll find a newfound sense of purpose and clarity. Focus on what truly matters - your customers and the unique value you offer. Embrace the challenge of doing it better, and you'll unlock the true potential of your business for sustainable success.

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