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No product earns it profits by moving from point A to point B, which means no product management plan should operate like an assembly line. Don't waste time and money to develop something you're ashamed of -- or worse, something that's been done a hundred times before. Instead, take a little advice from tried-and-true product management tactics. Experts share their thoughts on the question:

"What are the key ingredients of a long product lifetime?"

The MarTechExec takeaway

It's hard enough to make a good product stand out -- Trying to sell a useless one is downright impossible. And why would you want to? Creating a product just for the sake of it is a fatal mistake. Sooner or later, it will take its toll on your teams, your profits and your reputation. So, whatever you build, build it well. Give it a vision, give it direction, give it your all. That's a product that sells itself.

Lana Moore, Founder MarTechExec
Lana K. Moore is one of the fastest trending top martech  influencers  in the industry. As a marketing technology executive for both Fortune 500 companies and startups, she is passionate about helping marketing technology professionals stay on top of their game. Lana is the executive editor of martechexec.com - a place to learn, share and discuss marketing technology topics and solutions.

The expert takeaways

  • Invest in the heart of the product
  • Don't just build a better mousetrap
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • Never settle for "good enough"

The experts


Don't just build a better mousetrap

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"Focusing on building an awesome thing and improving it all the time is much better than wasting energy by just following and copying competition. Provide unique value to your customers. Real value. Something that they will be ready to pay for even without much convincing or marketing efforts. Work on your product experience. If it's not a niche specialized product, make sure that your grandma can use it!"

Diana Nassar, Senior Product Manager at Souq.com
Diana Nassar is a Senior Product Manager at Souq.com and a 2016 TechWomen Fellow. She manages Souq's fulfillment program ""Fulfilled by Souq"". Prior to Souq, she was a Senior Software Engineer at Aramex International. Diana serves as a 2017 Industrial Advisory Board Member at Jordan University of Science and Technology.

“Are you building vitamins or painkillers? Vitamins improve things that already exist – painkillers fundamentally change the way things are done. To “ensure” a long product lifetime, ask yourself the question. If the answer is vitamins, I’d suggest going back to the drawing board.

That being said, building painkillers doesn’t necessarily mean success. You’ll need 100 things and more to go right. In my opinion, the most important thing is to empathize with your target customer, to understand their world, and to solve a problem that’s ultimately worth solving.”

Geoffrey Gualano, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Hubdoc
Former musician, current product marketing enthusiast. Geoffrey's passion for great products has led him to Hubdoc, a hyper growth, Toronto based, FinTech startup that is using cloud computing and machine learning to change the way accountants and bookkeepers do their job.

“The product has to solve a job for the customer. It can't be a nice to have. The value needs to be obvious and it needs to display that value again and again on a regular cadence.”

Matt Bilotti, Product Manager at Drift
I'm a Product Manager at Drift. I learn by doing. Follow me on Twitter @mattbilotti or keep up with the company at www.drift.com.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

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“Staying connected with the ground reality is the most important. We have heard the saying - Change is the only constant. Users, Market conditions, Policies all change and if the product is in sync with this reality then a long product lifetime can be ensured.”

Gary Thomas George, Product Manager at Foradian Technologies
A first time Product Manager at a tech startup for about a year now. Previously into software engineering for about 4 years. Passionate about EdTech. Based in India.

“Companies and products tend to have a lot of inertia, so changing directions is often an uphill battle, and the farther you are down a given path, the harder it is to pivot. An effective way to make it past this phase is to clearly define your problem and value statement up front, and then build in regular check-ins to confirm you're still solving that problem.

It doesn't get you past this phase, but it speeds up the time to realization and allows for rapid mid-course corrections. It's always easier to communicate and implement a lot of small adjustments than one big one.”

Joe Kendall, Product Manager at IBM
Joe Kendall is a Stanford-trained designer, engineer and product manager who has developed products for everyone from Fortune 100 companies to early-stage startups. He specializes in inventing solutions that integrate technology, sustainability, and design into systems which benefit people’s daily lives.

Invest in the heart of the product

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“A central core premise that engages with your users and keeps them retained. You can add whatever additional retention features you want, but for a truly sustainable product it's the core that's important.”

Daryl Hornsby, Creative Director at Hugo Games A/S
A Free-to-Play game developer with a heart of gold. Acquire, Retain, Monetise are the goals! Check out Daryl's work at www.hugogames.com, or keep up with him on Twitter @DarylHornsby.

“Well executing multi disciplined team, A north star for the product vision, Ongoing customer engagement and research, agreed upon "tip of the spear", Ample financial runway, flexibility and maneuverability in product offering, quality analytics to track progress.”

Joshuah Vincent, Senior Project Manager and Designer at Xero
Poduct manager, inventor, designer, entrepreneur, musician and athlete. I love having fun creating awesome consumer experiences and services, working with creative, intelligent and motivated people! I thrive on having my sleeves rolled up and getting deep into solving big challenges.

“It is very important to chose one's product idea very wisely. Creative brainstorming and a strong market research can help in predicting the product growth for the next few years.”

Parul Joshi, Product Manager at Ensa.com, Inc.
Joshi works as a Product Manager in Ensa.com Inc. Check out what the company has been up to by going to www.ensa.com, or follow along with her work on Twitter @parul2006.

Never settle for "good enough"

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“Re-assessing your resources on a regular basis. Making sure you're using them for maximum effectiveness, and testing new theories quickly, pivoting where the best opportunity arises.”

Chris Dermody, Technical Product Manager at Hostelworld Group
Serial Entrepreneur/Designer who just likes to build things and businesses. From selling used cardboard boxes to apps and websites.

“The key ingredients for a long product lifetime are constant testing and continuous evolution. It's imperative that you are always ready to respond to the market as it changes and strive to be two steps ahead of your competitors.

Focus on the three pillars of value, meaning, and engagement so that you are not only solving a problem, you are doing so in the most delightful way.”

Kelli Niewohner, Product Manager at RentHub
Two-time founder with a passion for UX. Product Manager at RentHub. Keep up with Kelli on Twitter @KelliNiewohnern.

“I think it's the constant iteration on the product itself, starting with a minimal version until it's closer to perfection. We can't afford to think that a product can live but itself without constant improvements, at least not anymore.”

Boyan Kostov, Co-Founder of Tardigrade
Digital product and interaction designer. Currently obsessed with human centered design and design strategy. Co-founder of Bear Interactive (previously Tardigrade Studio).