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Making Product Decisions Based on One Large Customer

John Haniotis

VP of Product Management at MarqetU

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Problem

At my prior company, we had a large cell phone manufacturer using our hardware and software products. This company represented 40% of our total revenue. As a result, our company was so tied to the customer, this customer's wishlist always made it on to our development list. However, it was unclear if other customers would want these things and in turn may have blocked our product from having wider appeal.

Actions taken

The first step to overcoming this issue was becoming aware of it. It's easy to think that if this large customer wants something, it must be attractive to other customers as well. However, this is not always the case. We made a switch to prioritize development based on wide customer research. This took courage and required communication with our large customer. We needed to explain that it is better in the long run to have a wide scale product because this means we will be around longer to support their needs.

Lessons learned

This experience showed us that by listening to the one large customer, our view was skewed for what the general customer would want. As a management team, you have to identify and act on this issue. It takes courage and communication to prioritize this way, but in the end it is more beneficial to the growth of your company. In addition to communicating to the customer, you must also communicate with internal management teams to ensure they understand the reason behind prioritization.


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John Haniotis

VP of Product Management at MarqetU


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