Research & Strategy

Food for thought: is your product a vitamin or painkiller?

  • Kamil Tatol

  • Jun 24, 2024

  • 5 min read

  • Jun 24, 2024

  • 5 min read

New digital products are springing up, and there's a question that should be on every product designer's mind: What type of product are you building? The answer can revolutionise your development strategy, marketing tactics, and business trajectory.

Imagine you're at the helm of a startup. You're pouring your heart and soul into a revolutionary idea. Yet, before creating a new product, you must ask yourself: Do you know what type of product you are building? Will your creation be a painkiller or a vitamin?

Craft solutions, not creations

In the product design world, we're not just crafting creations – we're solving problems.

A painkiller product responds to an urgent need. It's a transformative solution that doesn't merely exist but actively alleviates pressing user pains. On a rainy night, Uber is indispensable – it's a painkiller.

A vitamin product, on the other hand, offers long-term benefits that may not be immediately apparent but contribute to overall improvement over time and prevent possible problems. Consider the fitness tracker quietly monitoring your steps – an admirable addition to your routine, yet hardly a lifeline.

Depending on the context, the same product can seamlessly transition between being a 'Painkiller' and a 'Vitamin'. It's crucial to remember that when creating adaptable and empathetic user experiences.

Understand your product

Understanding your product is pivotal. When your product is a painkiller, you should leverage its problem-solving prowess to create experiences that address user pains directly, acting as a trusted ally in their journey. When your product is a vitamin, you should emphasise its enduring value – the investment in user well-being that may not yield immediate gratification but fosters long-term loyalty and engagement.

Adapt to changes

There's more to understanding your product than recognising its type; there's also value proposition and its role in the market. And we can't stress enough how important it is to engage with your users. Your product – first and foremost – should adapt to different contexts and user needs, forging strong connections with users across various scenarios. So, listen to your users and let their insights guide you in refining your designs.

The key? You need to remain informed, adaptive, and committed to articulating its unique value proposition to resonate deeply with your audience. Complacency is the enemy of progress. Embrace a culture of continual iteration and improvement fueled by a relentless pursuit of excellence.


The success of your product hinges on your understanding of whether it's a 'Painkiller' or a 'Vitamin.' It's a strategic foundation for your product's success.

When you clearly define and position your product, you can better meet market demands, attract engaged users, and ensure the longevity and relevance of your startup.

So, as you take your first step towards creating a product, ask yourself: What kind of solution are you crafting? Let this question serve as your guiding star and illuminate the path towards creating products that not only solve problems but enrich lives.

Kamil Tatol

Kamil Tatol


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