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?