Disruptive vs Sustaining Products

To create a product to solve a problem is a strategy. To actually build a product to solve a problem, we look for the target market and study its aspects like how big is the market, what is the type of market..

Humans like to explore new things, new ideas & new products. Marketing has made it very easy for humans to find solutions to their problems on the internet. Now the question is how often people really look for solutions to their problems on the internet.

When do we look for a solution to the problem?

We consume all types of content on the internet. Most of the time, we are just being guided by what information is currently available and tend to believe only on the facts that are available prominently all over the internet. So, when we go on the internet to look for a solution, 90% of the time we are able to find one ! Why? Thanks to marketing, which made us all believe that the problems that we are going through are common, i.e the masses are experiencing it and hence there are solutions present on the internet. 

But how many times have you really gone on the internet and tried to find a solution, and failed to have any results? May be once, or may be never. Why? Because we don’t believe in facts which do not coincide with the masses. We just feel that the problems that we feel as a problem, is not such a big problem or may be not a problem at all.

When does a problem is solved?

To create a product to solve a problem is a strategy. To actually build a product to solve a problem, we look for the target market and study its aspects like how big is the market, what is the type of market, its demographics and the sales forecast of any existing product in the market can also be taken into consideration. It’s easy to introduce a product in the existing markets as you have all the data to analyze if your decision is right or wrong. But what about the problems that are not yet solved and there is no tapped market for it?

Sustaining vs Disruptive products

We can easily understand the landscape of current e-retail apps, some are selling all the types of categories, some are only selling clothings, some are only selling bulk products and many other variations are present in the market. These all are working on a problem which they feel they can solve better than the existing competitor in the market and have the market share. Such types of products are called Sustaining products, as they are working on an incremental enhanced version of an existing reference which is making the actual vision a sustained vision for the new product as well.

But when you are trying to solve a problem which has no solution available yet in the market and practically has no established market, are the disruptive products.

The struggle with disruptive products and ease with sustaining ones !

Disruptive products need a lot of patience as there is no guarantee of success, practically they are on the path of learning. They might not be successful the first time but they might be able to do it right, the second or the third time only because of their own learning. 

Disruptive products always have a “first move advantage” into the market. To see it from a different perspective, we can say they can easily engage the customers as they now have a solution to their problems but it can be hard to make them pay for it because of the factors that I have explained in the initial paragraphs of this blog. But once they get their first few paid customers, they can start to steer their directions well to establish their market. 

Sustaining products are always on the verge of getting their margins eaten by some competitor. They know it is so hard for them to establish a monopoly and they keep on breaking down on prices, giving more discounts because they have to compete with others to keep a hold on their market. Competitors are always keeping an eye on your next move and you have pretty much no chance to do something unique in order to acquire more profit from the customers. You can easily find most of the companies competing to sustain by acquiring more new customers while preventing the current ones from getting fall out and this all just boils down to more and more marketing activities but less of upgrades in the products itself. 

Sustaining products kills the creativity inside the app, with time. They certainly don’t follow the innovation path and rather switch to only marketing and agnostic channelization path. While disruptive products keep on moving with their innovative products and can stay like that for a long time, until their markets become big enough for their competitors to enter and they also turn into a sustaining product.

What are your thoughts? Do share in comments!


5 replies on “Disruptive vs Sustaining Products”

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