You might think it is impossible to be two places at once, but I did it by occupying both the overkill and too basic segments of the market with exactly the same product.

LeadsOnRails has received a good number of positive comments from users. Yet we also received, within a few days of each other a couple of diametrically opposed comments. One person wrote on 37signals/svn that “is overkill for what we need” while another wrote in the Business Of Software forum that “ is just too basic.”

“Too basic” yet also “overkill”. Comments like these show that an “everything-to-everybody” approach would be a futile effort. People naturally want to say “yes – we can do it”, “yes – our product can be whatever you need it to be”. “Yes” is easy to say. Yet for the sake of a sound business plan and solid product, it is sometimes not the best answer a company can give. Trying to gain a customer who’s needs do not fit into your product or services will likely result in frustration both for you and your new customer. Referring prospects to companies that are targetting their needs is an option that can result in a good relationship instead of a frustrated customer.

We are very responsive to user feedback and feature requests. We work hard to understand who our users are and at better understanding their needs. We rapidly improve products to meet those needs and have received great, positive feedback from satisfied users. Yet we also work hard to know who our users are not. This helps us to not get distracted into guiding the product feature-path based on feedback from folks outside of our target group.

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