When Coudal Partners, frustrated by the limited options available for custom CD and DVD packaging, solved their problem by inventing Jewelboxing, it occured to them that people who read their blog might like the product as well. They guessed right. Coudal Partners now develops multiple products and is well on its way toward abandoning client services altogether.
Likewise, panelist Jason Fried, whose user experience consultancy developed a blog which begat a readership which began buying the user experience consultancyâ€™s first product, which freed Fried and his friends to pretty much quit the client services racket in favor of product development.
I like that reference to client services racket. The tension is between generating sufficient revenue from an existing client services business while developing, trialling and maturing a viable product.
In my experience many firms attempt that transition. Most fail because a passion for service occupies so much of best people’s energy. Product innovators within the firm need to have the rest of the system functioning.
Still it is a great and worthy goal.
Update 21 October 2008 fixed a typo in a URL that generated a 404 error