In a recent Product Management Bootcamp, there was a slide presenting the different types of competitors, listing Direct, Indirect, Substitute, and Potential as the four basic categories. Shortly after the categories were defined, one saw many confused heads in the room, brimming with questions around the same. That confusion motivated my intention to write this post, trying to explain my understanding of competitor classification, in really simple (hopefully) terms.

For a quick reference to the definitions of DIRECT, INDIRECT, SUBSTITUTE, POTENTIAL competitors, here are a few links link1, link2, link3. Here’s a screenshot of the definitions from the link3.

Pic credits:



“We’re looking to hire someone with X, Y, Z skills and someone who would fit into our company’s culture”, sounds familiar, doesn’t it? With so many organisations strategically investing in Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) programmes, could the ideology of a ‘company culture’ and hiring for ‘culture fitness’ be undermining the objectives of D&I and doing more harm than good? Here’s my take on why we should start embracing a ‘culture of no culture’, what diversity really means, why we need to stop hiring for ‘culture fitness’ and start hiring for the diversity of character and mindset.

However, to understand what…

A person holding a measuring tape as if to measure something
A person holding a measuring tape as if to measure something
Source: Aha blinds

On a relaxed Friday afternoon, we (the development team) received an email from the Executive Director of R&D at our company. On a mission to improve the team’s productivity, he wanted to understand our biggest frustrations at work that impacts productivity. One of the developers replied, “some of the tools (software and hardware tools) we use and the processes we follow have inefficiencies that hamper our output significantly”. If you were a product manager for these tools, what would be the first thought running in your mind? Which aspects of the tools was this developer complaining about? …

It’s likely you didn’t stumble upon this piece by accident. That unsettling feeling when you just can’t comprehend something can keep you up at night, just like the sleepless nights I spent trying to get the grasp of these two concepts. I have seen so many people getting confused with PMF and Usability, thinking they are one and the same. As a developer, when I started my voyage into the field of product management and understanding basic concepts in Product Management, I scoured the internet for a plethora of articles, courses, blogs to understand what these two terms meant for…

Priya Toshniwal

Discovering the world beyond the realms of salt and pepper. Mostly day dreaming about food and other people’s dogs.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store