A product becomes successful when it is able to cross the chasm and become a resident of “Must Have Land” from “Good to Have Land”. Malcolm Gladwell wrote The Tipping Point and Geoffrey Moore wrote Crossing The Chasm on how an innovative product moves from being the priced property of the early adopters to becoming a mass phenomenon. A product really becomes a mass phenomenon when regular people think that it’s a product they must have.
In case of consumer products, crossing the chasm is well defined. The triggers are various factors ranging from cultural acceptance of a product to development of the product ecosystem. The mavens play an equally important role in making sure new features are added to the product and its ecosystem is rich enough for mass adoption.
The principle applies broadly to enterprise products as well. But in case of enterprise products the success is defined to a large extent by the answer to one question: is the product a must have product for the client enterprise? Every product starts as a good to have product. Based on the usability and eventually criticality of the product in serving its purpose, it either goes obsolete or becomes a must have product. The chasm for an innovative product in enterprise space is that gap between good to have and must have territories.
In a nutshell, the recipe for success of an enterprise product is to add features to it and develop an ecosystem to take it to a point where it becomes an essential product to serve its purpose and meet the desired goals of the client enterprise consistently and dependably.