How to evolve your products 🌱
Evolving you product through gradual changes
Learn to find, create and shape your own unfair advantages
In Episode 6 of Season 1, Daniel West goes through his journey building Panalyt, a People Analytics platform that provides real time, actionable people data and insights across the employee lifecycle for businesses.
Daniel explains that one of the unfair advantages that Panalyt has, is their team’s combined experience in heading HR teams at Google, Uber and Apple. This is a solid advantage that one or a team can have, because experience can never be “hacked” or bought - you have to go through it yourselves and learn as you go.
Unfair advantages can come in many forms: be it an exceptional skill set your team has over others that allows you to build complex features, powerful networks you can leverage, close understanding and connection with your user community, or just pure experience that has taught you many possibilities.
Whatever it may be, each company or individual has one - many just fail to acknowledge it or unlock it to its full potential.
So how do you know what your unfair advantage is?
First things first, let’s define it. An “unfair advantage” is one that puts you in a “better” or “higher” position than other people - hence its flexibility in possibly being anything! Something that makes you stand out from your competitors, that if someone were to choose to invest between you and them, they would choose you for your unfair advantage.
It’s not encouraged to toot your horn or give yourself a medal for your unfair advantages, but knowing what you can provide or offer others and what you can bring to the table is important to your company and the team - to stand out!
It’s not about bragging or narcissism, or making yourself look more superior to others, it’s just about being self-aware of it and being able to utilize them to your best advantages.
When you know of these advantages, you can organize them to make a concentrated effort to show people these skills/advantages, rather than telling them about it.
To use your unfair advantage, you need to name it.
Once you are in tune with what unfair advantages you have (and remember, these can also be learned and built!), find ways to make use of them.
If your co-founder has an unfair advantage in their knowledge of Internet of Things, make sure they’re focused on this and are able to lead it.
If you have a strong network of powerful connections, start planting the seeds and have a meeting with each of them to explore opportunities.
Especially showcase your unfair advantages as well when communicating your company, pitching an idea or in sales conversations.
Make sure to also help boost you and your team’s confidence by continuously sharpening your unfair advantages - they don’t just stay as unfair advantages, you need to keep building on them. Here’s how, through:
Everyone has their inborn and learnt talents, which most can come naturally to you. One can be having the ability to innovate the company’s communication strategies, making it easy for you to tell stories and build your company’s promotional efforts.
Write down talents or strengths you have that can be used for your business.
You can have similar businesses to others, even share the same space and provide similar products/solutions, but not every business would have the same mix of skills that you do.
Write down skills you have over others, and how you could use them in your company. Remember, you can also aim to learn new skills to build on these skill advantages!
Everything that you have gone through, is unique to only you. This is the same for everyone, but is there anything about your experience that brings benefits to how you’re planning the development and growth of your company? The good, the bad and even the boring - all has helped you become the person you are today!
Nio matter what stage you’re in, you’ve likely accumulated a great amount of knowledge that other people may have not. These could be through mentors, courses, books, videos or just pure experiences. These play a huge role in your unfair advantage because these can be knowledge that can help others, such as your users/customers.
Who you know, can make a huge difference to the opportunities you have. All the people who you trust and trust you, can open doors to opportunities that won’t open to just anyone else. Find 3-5 powerful or inspirational people in your network and see how you can explore possibilities with them - or just build strong relationships with them!
Your character, or yourself, is developed every day. It’s not exactly a learned thing, but character is how society and your environment has shaped you - which is also unique to you and yourself only. Your character attracts certain people, and repels certain others. And with your character, do you attract a lot of people who want to engage with you - which can lead to more brand awareness, sales or loyalty?
Everyone or company has an unfair advantage - your job is to identify them and use it to your advantages to grow and boost your business. Take a look at your talents, skills, knowledge, experiences, connections and character to see what you can leverage from.
🔮 Have a clear vision. Know what you’re building and why you’re building it
💬 Get feedback early. Even if you’re confident in what you’re building, you need that validation and support form your investors, team and users to keep improving
💰 Invest in a CFO earlier than you think you need. Many can underestimate how quick the years and funding rounds go, you need them to help keep funding rounds going.
I've been helping entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and innovators build their tech products since 2016!
Bringing outstanding products to life is not easy. But despite that, it's an amazing journey for anyone who wants to innovate, make a change or an impact in any industry.
So I wanted to get on the mic, meet with amazing founders/makers, and share all of their crazy journeys and experiences with you. I hope it educates, inspires and entertains you. Enjoy! ;)
Morgan is the Co-Founder & CEO of Sparkmate. They've built 100+ high-tech products and ventures to solve tomorrow's challenges!