When Talking About Product We Actually Mean Technology Most of the Time

When talking to engineers, everything that is not code, databases, or servers is considered a domain of product not of technology. But talking to business people everything that is not sales, marketing, finance, or legal is considered technology while product is the total sum of all business activities needed to make customers happy of which technology is only a (small) part. This dichotomy in understanding meanings of the words product and technology causes severe communication issues and should therefore be resolved in order to build a successful product organization.

While it goes against the vanity of engineers, technology is seldom the differentiating factor in business success. Effective sales, good marketing, and efficient financing are in most cases the real differentiators. Therefore business people are right in their broader understanding of the word product while engineers are wrong in their narrow definition of the word technology. Consequently it is engineers who should adapt and stop using the word product when what they actually mean is just a technology to provide a solution to an already identified, sold, and paid customer need.