Moving From Client Work to Product Development: Do it Sooner!

by andrej 11. December 2011 22:26

In the following video Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners, a design company based in Chicago talks about his experience of moving from a client focused business to a product developing business model.

Lesson 1: Treat Your own Products as Though it Were Client Work

Don’t treat your own products as step childs. Care about them. Put time and effort into them. Stick to deadlines and commitments as you would if they were commissioned by a client.

This will eventually help you move those products forward and ready to launch and earn money with them.

Lesson 2: Learning by Doing and Staying Flexible

What is it your company is currently doing? How can you use this knowledge/assets/technology to pivot to your own product?

Do this step by step and evaluate what you are learning along the way. Pivot as soon the market or technology or your team demands it.

Do not change your business model as a whole in one  step. Pretend to be taking on “new clients” (that are your own products) step by step and only keep them if they grow to be sustainable and valid businesses.

Lesson 3 and Most Importantly: Start Sooner

I highly recommend a product development business – even if you still have revenue that comes from clients. Because it makes you more independent of clients and their needs which often will not align with your ambitions, wishes and visions. And you always can switch back to serving clients in case your financial situation demands it.

This it what we at teamaton are currently doing. We are developing a generalized version of the platform software for camping.info which is called discoverize. Thus we will be able to host multiple platforms and lease them to partners in other industries (such as marinas or hotels). And we are also working on a simple and useful todo management tool for teams and individuals.

And Coudal’s advice is clear and simple: “I should have done it sooner. What are you afraid of? Get Busy!”

[via signal vs. noise]

Learning Collaboration: Coding Dojo and Kata

by anton 8. December 2011 12:09

Yesterday I once again participated in a coding dojo – it’s been a while. These events are organized by the ALT.NET User Group Berlin.

We were 13 people. We formed three groups with one Laptop each. Each group got the same assignment – the tennis kata. It is a pretty simple task, which has to be completed in about an hour and a half with TDD.

What is interesting is not so much to implement the best solution. To me, it is more absorbing to see with what ideas the others in my group approach the problem, and their art and philosophy of coding. It’s always inspiring to see other methods performed live. Solving the problem is then more about finding a common language and agreeing on one solution and, if possible, on one coding style. It’s challenging to persuade the others that the approach one has in mind is a good one. The setting of four people per one computer enforces cooperation – a good skill to hone.

I like the coding dojos, and will try to participate again in the next one. Landau Medien was fine host – they provided their conference room and sponsored soft drinks, beer and pizza. Thanks also to Jan and Mike for organizing.

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