Product Roadmapping: Make Your Worst Nightmare Your Best Ally

In boxing, imagining your opponent training harder than you before showing up in the ring and mopping the floor with your face is a nightmare scenario that you can use to motivate yourself to work harder while there’s still time to train. You can make your nightmare an ally that pushes you to outperform your real opponent.

Product managers can use this trick alongside their other analyses to generate more competitive feature roadmaps. Just imagine a software competitor that shows up tomorrow and announces features that make you shake in your boots, so to speak. What would that competitor look like? What features would they have? How would the customers interact with their product? What would it look like? What would scare you? What would dishearten you as a competitor? Daydream the answers to all those questions, and then think about building that.

It behooves you to take action because it is a real possibility that a competitor appears with a feature set that out-competes yours leaving you obsolete.

Making your worst nightmare your best ally now is a simple and fruitful way to stay competitive and keep pushing the envelope forward before they can catch up to you.


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Zachary Keeton

Zachary Keeton


A 15th-year Web Dev/Engineering Manager. Formerly building products and leading teams at Plus One Robotics in San Antonio, Texas, USA