making great product
By pa360, Jan 17 2015 11:40AM
People often bemoan the lack of opportunity in their professional lives. Quite understandably, they want to have better jobs, that pay more money and offer better long term career prospects. The reality is that often-times we are competing for opportunities in markets that are saturated with our particular 'product'. At other times we are offering a 'product' that no-one really wants. Clearly, if you are uncompetitive either due to market saturation or low product value, you will not be able to achieve the benefits or generate the 'profits' that you are aiming for.
It strikes me that if you want to 'trade' successfully in the market-place of opportunity you must first have a marketable 'product' to offer. I think it was the late Apple Chief Executive, Steve Jobs who described it this way: "If you keep your eye on the profit, you’re going to skimp on the product. But if you focus on making really great products, then the profits will follow".
Maybe at times our focus is not quite right. Perhaps we are overly concerned with making 'profit' (eg: finding a new job, getting a pay rise or winning a promotion) and lose focus on making ourselves into a great 'product'. I believe that to 'skimp' on the product (as Job's describes), simply means to cut corners or neglect the detail. However, the points of detail that we neglect and the corners that we cut, are often the very things that distinguish us from others and make our 'product' both marketable and desirable.
So what do we do about it? I think the answer is simple: 'focus on the product'. Focusing on the product does not necessarily mean doing more of the same (although it might, if you have been significantly off your game). Rather, it is more likely to mean that you should spend time developing your brand competitiveness. As a case in point, if you are looking to trade in the leadership market, then offer a distinctive leadership 'product' or brand. To do this you will need to develop leadership insights and experience that are uncommon, dynamic and agenda setting. Alternatively, you may already have a profitable 'product' on paper, but may simply lack the skills to market yourself profitably in practice. For you, focusing on the product might simply mean getting your product pitch right or finding the most profitable markets to profile yourself in.
To conclude therefore, don't focus on making profit, focus on making great product and don't just focus on making the right product, focus on making the product right.