Vitamin, Painkiller, or Cure?


Always think about your product or service in terms of the benefits it provides to its users. Your solution is much more than the sum of its features. One way to evaluate your product is to consider how well it solves the pain for the customer. There are three categories that it can fall into—a vitamin, a painkiller, or a cure. Vitamins promise indirect, long-term benefits that address general health or minor problems. They are nice to have, but they won’t wreck your day if you forget to take them. Painkillers are the next best solution, which are necessary short-term fixes to pressing issues. While more of a necessity than vitamins, they rarely solve the underlying issues. Finally, cures make the problems go away entirely. Customers’ willingness to pay depends directly on their need for your product. They’re often willing to pay significantly more for cures than vitamins. But cures are also harder to establish and defend.

If you expect to get significant traction, your solution should be a painkiller at least. Then, once established, be on the lookout for ways to better solve customers’ problems to make your product that much more important.


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