Back to resources

Focusing on Products Over Services

Alignment
Customers
Innovation / Experiment
Cultural Differences

2 November, 2021

Bruno Lichot
Bruno Lichot

20+yrs Product Management | Digital Transformation | Product Evangelism | Software Development Lifecycle | Collaboration & Empowerment | Helping Enterprises to Create a Customer-Centric Product at PexaPark

Bruno Lichot, Chief Product Officer at :hiperstream, recalls his experience transitioning an organization into a global product company and securing new investments.

Problem

At a previous company, I worked in the innovation department creating new products with startups using technology and mentorship. A client wanted to bring their organization global, transform their services into products, and obtain new investments. The leading investor asked me to join the operation and help the company transition. Transitioning was challenging as the company had not interacted with licensing or consumption before releasing the product. The company was unaware that its services were dealing with a broad market and needed to be honed in.

Actions taken

The first step is to question how our company can address this market with products in place of service. We determined why we had services and products and what we were looking to solve. From there, we decided what product could deliver value and who would be affected. Initially, our product was a broad mass-marketed initiative, but after asking these questions, we could target a specific industry. Our company was able to deliver more value to our customers when working within a particular industry.

Quickly we realized that there were many different approaches and products we could create, so we formed teams based on each product. When delivering products, there are various indexes from services. As a result, we started different approaches and separate budgets for each product we would release. Our company had to get up to date with licensing and consumption related to products. Services, on the other hand, acted as trusted advisors for customers.

As we proceeded to understand our new company shape, we began marketing our product. We started by determining whom we were talking to and where we would talk to them. The approach for the marketing became more sales-like for our company, and they created more playbooks. Our marketing acted as a funnel to the lead generation for our sales team. We had to align our product marketing and sales team in order to scale our product in the direction we wanted.

Our company increased our customer service team, who were not related to products but instead required to understand customers' business to be trusted advisors. We have been making this change within the last three years, to increase product sales over services. In 2019, our company became profitable and grew by over twenty percent. This is thanks to our company automating most things we can do and narrowing down our customer market.

Lessons learned

  • When creating a new product or transitioning a business, you need to ask yourself why, who, and what. Why you are doing this, to whom you are doing it, and what you deliver to them.
  • When working for an organization that provides a service for a company, empathize with the customer journey. Your objective should be to provide your client's customer with an increased experience, which will benefit your client and your company. If you relate your success to your customers, you will be more likely to achieve your goals.
  • During the transformation from service to product company, there is a mindset reset that needs to happen. Those that do not want to stick with the change will leave for themselves when given the opportunity.
  • Innovation tends to empower people. In broad terms, we uplifted our company by shifting our services to products. More specifically, we empowered our team by focusing on our company's direct impact, which was great motivation for our team.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

(Re)Organizing Your Teams Using Domain-Driven Design

12 July

A proposal for how to create an org structure that will deliver software systems that you want, not ones you get stuck with.

Alignment
Architecture
Scaling Team
Building A Team
Internal Communication
Reorganization
Ram Singh

Ram Singh

CTO at REAL Engagement & Loyalty

Bootstrapping a Startup While Working Full-Time

23 June

Lucjan Suski, CEO & Co-founder of Surfer, relates how he started a company as a side project and shares his insights on bootstrapping tech startups.

Innovation / Experiment
Motivation
Strategy
Lucjan Suski

Lucjan Suski

Co-founder, formerly CTO and CEO at Surfer

Managing Through a Team Reorganization

15 June

Mugdha Myers, former Engineering Manager at Google, discusses the challenges of leading a team through the ambiguity and anxiety caused by a large-scale team restructuring.

Alignment
Changing A Company
Strategy
Changing Company
Mugdha Myers

Mugdha Myers

Engineering Manager at N/A

How to Successfully Rebuild Your Product

6 June

Adir Nashawi, Senior Product Manager at Hibob, shares his insight and experience from rebuilding a product to handle many feature requests and offerings.

Customers
Product
Dev Processes
Users
Prioritization
Adir Nashawi

Adir Nashawi

Senior Product Manager at Hibob

How to Empower Teams to Build Out a Product Portfolio During Company Growth

6 June

Ivo Minjauw, Global Product Director at OTA Insight, discusses the importance of structuring your teams when undergoing company growth.

Alignment
Goal Setting
Product
Ownership
Performance
Ivo Minjauw

Ivo Minjauw

Global Product Director at OTA Insight