The question you will most likely ask, on forums, your friends or colleagues is: which product is better.

This question just shows our uncertainty and fear to make the wrong choice. No matter if we are talking about seminars, an Office package or a vacation.

Which product is better is the question we ask over and over again, and sometimes it leads us to paralysis analysis.

I was recently stuck with the same question when deciding if I should attend an on-line conference or should I wait one year later and attend in person.

In this short article I will explore the definition of better and useful, as well as what is the right question to ask ourselves. Spoiler alert usually asking “which is more useful brings better results”

There are two kinds of better products

Asking which product is better actually obscure is from the truth. There is usually more than one kind of better.

The product which is better than another product in the same category

I have a friend who wanted to buy a new phone. He asked me which phone is better. And I answered to him based on my preferences, and I was wrong.

My category of better is the superior camera and lower price, and his was how long the company updates the operation system and smaller form factor.

For him, one particular brand was better than the one I proposed, because the attributes and the criteria he had in mind differed from mine.

This is important characteristics to keep in mind, next time we ask which is better. Be careful with such a question. A lot of times asking it to different people will lead us to different answers. Different forums and experts will convince us that their product is better. And for them this might be true, but maybe for us and our beliefs and our needs this might be the wrong choice in the end.

The product which is better than another product not in the same category

Here the question, which tool is better works even less. Is it better to buy storage space on cloud, on external hard drive, or upgrade my laptop with more storage.

It is hard to make the sense of those choices. But some people ask themselves such questions daily. Especially when they are bombarded with advertisements and good offers, and they as customers are like the discount wizards.

Many people ask this question, especially now when the season of discounts of everything starts. The issue here is that when we look for an answer, we hear and read even more diverse opinions, just because the product or the services we are comparing could have as a main target very different kind of customers.

We will end feeling lost and postponing our decision, or just trusting the closest friends of ours and hoping they were right.

The better question

We must replace the question: which product is better, with which product is more useful.

There are a few reasons why. When we say more useful, we open a dialog where the other person will be forced to ask us the followup question.

What useful in what aspect?

And then hopefully we will receive a help in defining our must features and our value driven decisions.

The side effect from that question is that we can now understand what other people see as more useful and this could actually help us understand our friends, colleagues, and people from across the globe, using internet a little better.

Asking this question also helps us to establish fair criteria, which we can use to compare products.

As an example, if we practice climbing and we are looking for a solid phone which could sustain the fall from 10 meters, we would most probably won’t buy the flagship from Samsung or Apple, but we will focus on products produced by CAT or another brand. The other side benefit is now we are prioritising what are the top features we really need. In today’s world, we can really see products that are made for everyone. That is why we must always prioritise our needs and choices.

Aleks Vladimriov is a Senior Software Developer, recognized Project Manager and Soft-skilled trainer and a coach.

Aleks Vladimirov

Solution Engineering Manager at Thales | Senior IT Professional | Startup Mentor and Product Manager

Aleks is experienced Product Manager with an engineer background and over 10 years of experience as a software developer. He works with different governments and is responsible for negotiation features and requirements, understanding the customers’ needs and supporting the senior management with regular reports and analysis. He held various positions starting as a software developer, moving to a team leader and software architect.

He strives in waterfall and agile environment alike. He is certified Scrum Master and Prince2 Practitioner and he knows how to design business processes and help teams optimize their work.
During his tenure, he had to wear many hats, prioritizing business requirements, delegating work and mentoring team members, creating mockups with Balsamiq, providing MS Project plan to the senior management.

He had worked in many international teams, located in the same city or distributed in different countries and continents. He had been a team leader of cross functional international team of 8 people.

In his current position, he is very much client focused. He has excellent presentation skills.
He delivers training sessions on presentation skills and leadership and he had helped hundred of people to improve their presentation skills.

He is also interested in creating more positive changes in the workplace by using entrepreneurship skills.
He had won startup competition where his team had validated and develop a business idea from scratch.

In his free time, he writes in his blog about effective product development.

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