Thursday, December 16, 2010

Developing a product within a service company

For this week's Lean Coffee Toronto, we discussed the ins and outs of developing a product inside of a service company.

A few interesting discussion points from my notes:
  • Products often come from satisfying an internal need
  • Working on products have many intangible benefits, including:
    • Increased motivation
    • "Bragging rights" for developers
  • How do you know when to "unbind" the product from the service company? No clear answers:
    • When the product needs investment in marketing, support, enhancements, etc.?
    • When the market is established?
  • How do you know when to "kill" the idea?
    • Treat it the same way as you would any investment
    • If it is being used and generating value internally, this question isn't relevant
  • Ask yourself: Is the product a hobby, or a business?

I found this discussion extremely valuable as we begin to productize our own internal system:

Thanks to everyone who attended, and especially to Andrew for facilitating, and Jet Cooper for hosting.

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