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About that "table stakes" feature...
Is it really table stakes, or are you being an ape?
It's routine for an exec to ardently state, "we have to build feature X—all of our competitors have it! This is table stakes!"
Is it, though?
Let's distinguish "table stakes" from "best practices" and "good ideas."
Table stakes are must haves, like seatbelts in cars. If a feature is truly table stakes, your product is disqualified without it.
And then there's everything else.
Some chunk of "everything else" is current best practice. These really are good ideas and yes, they are worth considering.
Another chunk is the bleeding edge. If you can move fast enough to experiment with discoveries at the edge of the field and figure out what is useful in your context, good on you!
The hard part is knowing which is which... or if you're just aping your competitors.
Industry-wide, roughly 70-80% of features/projects shipped do not deliver the anticipated value. Just because your competitor shipped it, does *not* mean it is working, positive ROI, or aligned with your company strategy. This suggests that if you want feature X because your competitor has feature X—and you don’t actually know why *they* built X—that you should check your thinking.
Meta-point: labels are powerful. Think about what you call things.