Purpose of business is profit. Profit that you make by selling your product or services to people / organizations you call customer. Customer pays you because they see value in your offering, they either make money or save money using your offering. I tweeted sometime back saying “profit is Proof of Purpose of product. do you make it?” (get this & more using #pmantra) – a business without a profit motive is social service and a product manager must understand that they are NOT in the business of doing something for no profit. Focus on customer requirements that will generate profits. I see no alternate to profit and would recommend you to avoid any further thinking to seek profit alternates.
Now to earn profit you must earn customers & needless to say how tough it is to get a customer & retain customer for long. Knowing customer and nurturing habit to know your customer first then your product is a BIG MUST. If you as a product manager try to learn product first and customer next, you will always end up pushing your incompetent offering to customers. Think otherwise that is customer first and product next – you will always look forward to improve product & deliver features that truly meet customer requirements. Remember in business, only person who pays is your customer rest all are to take money from you.
Delivering good products & solution is critical basic requirement to get customer and earn profit. Quality of your offering is of paramount importance and this quality is ensured by people (your team, employees). People who believe that they are preferred workers and not like old world slaves imported from a dark world deliver better. These people are called employees, when motivated they craft solutions that beat customer expectation (& that’s what matter) and when they are not they struggle to even deliver on time. Great products are sign that team that worked on it were taken care nicely, team was motivated and self-regulated (be a social animal to be in better control). I am not trying to say pamper your employees but show in your action that you care for their growth as much as you care for profit and customer or probably more than profit & customers.