You'd probably guessed the idea behind the split. "Painkiller" products solve real, hurting problem. Sometimes we literally cannot live without them. "Vitamin" products are "nice to have." Those could be helpful, but we could live without them.
"Painkillers" vs. "Vitamins" - just an example
The divide is arbitrary. Every individual or a group of people could have different problems (pains). Therefore what a "vitamin" for one could be a "painkiller" for another. For one person "YouTube" is a "vitamin," but for a celebrity caster, it's a "painkiller."
Why does it matter?Depending on whether you build a "painkiller" or a "vitamin" product different priorities apply.
If you're building a "painkiller" product your top priorities are:
It needs to "do the job."
If you're building a "vitamin" product your top priorities are:
- Sharability (network effect)
It needs to be delightful.
Great products include all those characteristics and much more. Yet knowing this divide helps to prioritize product development.
To better understand this divide we need to remind BJ Fogg behavior model.