Is your product an aspirin or a vitamin?

Vitamin B12

You’re sick. You’ve felt ill for a quite while. You go to the medicine cabinet and have a choice of aspirin and or a vitamin. Which do you take? Common sense tells you the one that offers the most immediate relief is . . . the aspirin. Good thing you listened to common sense.

Is your product an aspirin or a vitamin?

Aspirin or VitaminIt’s an often-used analogy for business value, by investors and by companies evaluating their product-market fit.

This is an interesting comparison when likening the success factors of a business to medicine. Since the effects of medicine have measureable impacts to human health, aspirin and vitamins are referenced because they address an easily identifiable feeling: pain. Medicine alleviates pain, and your product could alleviate certain pain points of other businesses.

That’s why breaking out your business into one of these two categories helps shed some light on the problem you’re solving.

Here’s an anecdotal recap of Reggie Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Cvent, explaining this concept further:

“He based his argument on creating a venture by asking the crowd if they would rather “create an aspirin or a vitamin,” his analogy for business value. He advises for many startups and said the number one reason why they fail is because they create a “vitamin” – it’s a nice-to-have, not a must-to-have. “What’s the first to get cut when you go into a recession?  The nice to haves.” he says.  Startups need to find a pain point, solve it, and build must-to-have products.  So an aspirin would be the better approach for creating a product that people truly need.”

Does it sound like your problem-solving business falls into one of these categories? Aspirin is the best and most immediate pain relieving solution, which is typically the one that appeals the most to prospective customers.

Not to be cast aside, vitamins, although considered supplemental, do help improve performance. However they are “nice to haves” and can often have invisible impact most of the time.

Let’s introduce one more category for comparison: vaccines

Vaccines are preventive. They address solutions to problems that exist today or are likely to arise in the future. They are must haves, but they get into the territory of unsolved problems, so if you have a product that solves an unsolved problem or even prevents the problem to occur, they would fall into this category. Vaccines type products are real innovations – as they are needed and they can help businesses or improve life.

Do you have to compartmentalize yourself into just one category? Why can’t you be all 3? You can solve immediate problems with an aspirin.

By continued use you can grow and help improve strength with a vitamin. Also, you can prevent future illnesses and problems with a vaccine. This would require some sort of miracle pill, and while perhaps it doesn’t exist in full over-the-counter form in the pharmaceutical industry, solutions like this can exist in the business world.

Red e App is not just “nice to have”. At our core, we make people’s lives easier.

  • Red e App is the aspirin that solves the immediate pain by creating immediate lines of communication to your non-desk workforce.
  • It is the vitamin that strengthens the connection to your workforce, thereby increasing engagement and reducing turnover.
  • Lastly, it is the vaccine that prevents future pain. Building on that communication highway with a swiss army knife of features likes Shifts empowers your employees to adopt, be productive, and feel connected.

Rx: Take one miracle pill and call me in the morning.



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