In this post, I take a brief look at how providing more than just software development can lead to a much better product.
I love the idea of combining software development with business and product development in business to business industries. We see many companies that need software development support but also need help with business development. Every company needs help with sales.
Often the software and business development are closely connected. Business development helps define product development which defines software development. We have a lot of business development experience. And I like the firms that offer growth services. Growth is such an important and educational process for every company. Having an intimate partner like a software development firm as part of the growth process could really help create new products.
For many years, product development firms have largely helped with product definition, customer research and defining the experience. This is all upfront, very expensive work. What happens when the product starts to sell in the market? There is no feedback loop.
Pretend we’re helping a company that sells software to car dealerships. Upfront we could talk to the car dealerships to understand their needs, use cases. This will help define the product. Then we build it, test it and deploy it.
This is where the fun really begins – asking what the customer thinks of it. Rarely will the first iteration stand up perfectly against a client’s wishes. That’s OK. Think of your first generation product, or a major update, as a trial run.
Build it in a smart way by gathering qualitative and quantitative measures from the customer. Then build it. Then let’s see what the customer thinks.
This is classic lean startup methodology, nothing new here. What is a little different is including Augment in the sales process. A true partner model where we help build the software and work to sell it with you to clients.
We have a very good platform for reaching out to potential clients. Maybe we should test it out with our b to b clients. Could be fun, interesting, educational and rewarding for all.