A must-have product fundamentally alters the way works gets done — either changing existing processes to be 10x better or unlocking new value that wasn’t previously achievable — and once used, companies will never go back. A nice-to-have product provides some value — perhaps being twice as good as doing it by hand or with spreadsheets — yet isn’t valuable enough to compel a critical mass of adopters. Apps that unequivocally help companies make more money, like marketing automation, are a must-have.
(1) Not sure this is a convincing definition of a must-have product. What about Gmail? Did it “provide a 10x improvement” over Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail, “unlock new value”, or “fundamentally alter the way work gets done”? I don’t think so, but many people regard Gmail as a must-have product.
(2) So here’s an alternative definition, using the Job To Be Done framework: “A must-have product enables you to (i) get a job done which you otherwise couldn’t get done at all, or (ii) get significantly more of the job done, or (iii) get the job done in a significantly less painful way.”
(3) Whether a product is “must-have” is always relative to the alternatives. See, for example, the focus on alternative solutions in How to conduct customer cancellation interviews in the “Job To Be Done” framework.
(4) Can you come up with a better definition of a “must-have” product than this?