Building a software product is hard. The failure rate is rumored to be higher than 9 out of 10.
There are many reasons why software products fail. In my opinion, the biggest reason is because people skip over the most important step, validating your product’s value proposition.
Validating a value proposition requires flexibility so you can make changes as you learn more about what your target market needs. Software is rigid which makes it a poor tool to serve this purpose.
Services on the other hand are flexible and easy to modify. However, we don’t want something fully custom because that won’t scale. Instead, if we hybrid the approach we wind up with the best of both – a productize service.
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A productized service is scalable like a product, but can be modified like a service. That makes a great fit for the first phase of building a product business – validating your value proposition.
For these reasons, I’d encourage you to build a productized service first. Once you’ve validated your value proposition, then you can leverage software to reach greater scale.