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My boss asked me this question today during an informal conversation. How would you, based on your personal experiences, build an answer? Everything that I thought or tends to be too much for the product or too much for me, and not for the intersection of the two.

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    Please see: Real questions have answers. Since this is completely relative to the individual who answers, this is effectively a poll question. – EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica Oct 27 at 15:58
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    Even with the edits, this is still primarily opinion-based because every answer will be equally valid. – EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica Oct 27 at 16:10
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    Welcome to The Workplace @gmn_1450. Opinion-based questions tend to not work out so well on our site, since almost every answer will be correct and we can't as easily vote on them to rank the best answers. Instead, ask questions about a real, actual problem you're facing, which includes plenty of details so answers are more targeted. For more details, please see How to Ask and tour. – Lilienthal Oct 27 at 16:31
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Your boss is trying to teach you a new thinking skill. Asking other people the answer to this question is not going to teach you the skill. What will? Well, take your time and try to answer.

First, invent a product. It could be anything. Now write down 3 or 4 bullet points of why this product represents you. If necessary, change the product.

Next, list some benefits of the product. For example "it is red" is not a benefit. "It is a trendy colour (eg rose gold) that will show everyone you are up to date on what's hot" is a benefit. For "you" things like speed, accuracy, attention to detail, grasp of big picture and so on are not benefits, but they are things that have benefits. Think about this.

Once you have the product, and the benefits, think about how you would concisely persuade someone to buy the product or invest in a company that will sell the product to many other people. This is a different set of things than the benefits. For example, because it has this and this benefit, we will sell a lot of them to these sorts of people and make money.

When you are done you will have "gone up a level" of abstraction about yourself several times. You may find you gain important insight from this. You will at least be able to answer this sort of question next time.

Or, an alternate approach is to ask your boss the point of the question: what your boss wants to learn about you or teach you by asking that. (Not that your boss needs a reason, but that you genuinely want to understand the motivation so as to learn more.) It seems like the sort of thing people learn about in management training that is less useful than the proposer suggests. Still, doing it on your own time without pressure may be something you find helpful.

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  • I appreciate the answer. Due to the informality of the occasion, I didn't see it as if he was trying to teach me a new skill, so I asked the question. I'll be careful with the next. – gmn_1450 Oct 27 at 16:17

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