The Accidental Product Success

Nan Xiao October 15, 2018 1 min read

A roadmap may tell how you can get there but doesn’t tell you where to go. Photo by @slidebean.

Technology companies are sometimes quirky but always quite interesting.

Often, we can witness accidental epic wins in products that don’t belong to a company’s main offerings. A few examples from the (almost) trillion dollar club:

Microsoft is a software company, but they have made some excellent hardware products, especially accessories. Recently, they even remastered the legendary IntelliMouse, an ergonomic mouse designed for office use but highly acclaimed in the gaming community.

On the other side of the spectrum, Apple is a hardware company, while their operating system is beautifully done (though the quality is declining) with superb GUI software innovations. People even want to run it on PC, a.k.a., the “Hackintosh”.

As our last example, Amazon is a B2C company with a traditional business model: selling stuff online. It has become evident that their cash cow and growth driving product, at least for a long time, will be the well-known public cloud service: AWS.

I believe the lesson here is simple: 1. respect the market and acknowledge our own ignorance. 2. Try new things bravely but plan ahead. 3. Repeat 1 and 2 regularly.