Best Practices for Incubating a Product in a Services Company

Scattered Practices

Image via Wikipedia

Continuing with yesterday’s post Repeatable Customer Acquisition Process to Raise Money, I wanted to address the first question that I’ve received several times over the last month: What are some best practices for incubating a product in a services company? Personally, I have more experience building product companies compared to service companies but I did the transition with my first company.

Here are some best practices for incubating a product in a services company:

  • Don’t have employees split time between their traditional services and product work — inevitably the services work will continue to get done because it pays the bills and enough progress won’t be made on the product
  • Dedicate a product manager/jack of all trades and a software developer to work on the product full-time — these two people should complement each other well and have the capabilities to do everything necessary to get the product off the ground
  • Consider making the product a separate company so that it can receive the dedicated attention it needs
  • Employ lean startup best practices throughout
  • Have everyone involved read Getting Real by 37signals – the best web app product management book available

There’s no sure fire way to make the product successful but by following some of these best practices the chances of success increase substantially.

What else? What best practices do you recommend for incubating a product in a services company?

One thought on “Best Practices for Incubating a Product in a Services Company

  1. Excellent points, thanks. The first two are painful to hear for a smaller services firm because it’s almost impossible to afford the dedicated employees until the company gets larger and profit can support investing in those roles. But just because we don’t like the medicine doesn’t mean the medicine is not good, right?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.