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Features /= Product

Hey I’ve got a great idea for a new storage product often equates to ‘I’ve got a great idea for a new feature’; companies large and small are equally guilty of this but a product is more than just a feature. Wandering round SNW and IP-Expo, this really struck me; lots of people are basing their whole product around a single feature.

Unless you have managed to invent a completely new product category; for example NetApp with their NAS appliance was really a new category (ignoring Auspex), you need more than a great feature and you need to do a whole lot more. 3Par for example may have been known as the thin-provisioning company but their product was more than just thin-provisioning; they lead the way on ease of use, wide-striping (okay, the enabling technology for thin-provisioning), micro-RAID and customer engagement.

If you just have a feature and it is something which could be easily be integrated into an existing competing product, you are going to have to make the most of your first mover advantage and then possibly get out. This may seem obvious but I am seeing a number of companies at the moment who are doing a feature and do not currently seem to be progressing whilst there are oncoming juggernauts who could possibly crush them like a bug.

And there are very few new ideas out there which are not being worked on by at least three different companies.

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