#BoSFAQ | How to move from a consulting to product business

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#BoSFAQ – Your questions, answered by our expert speakers.

When we welcome new subscribers to the Business of Software newsletter, we point them towards our catalogue of talks from previous conferences. There’s over 200 videos that might be able to help them with their current business problem. You can find those 200 videos here.

As you can see, there are a LOT of talks and, sometimes, it is hard to find the one you need (especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for!). So, we encourage new subscribers to reply to the welcome email with a direct question and we try to suggest some useful content. Think of it as our ML enabled content engine; where ML = Mark Littlewood, not Machine Learning. Our regular subscribers can, of course, drop us an email any time with a question too and we will try to help.

There are some recurring themes in the questions that people ask so we thought we would share some of them with you our wonderful subscribers. Let us know if you have a challenge that might be interesting to others

Q | How to move from being a consulting to product business. Read on…

“Hi Mark,

I am expecting to move into the role of CTO of a small start-up. I am interested in topics around handling general chaos in a fast paced company that is trying to move from being funded by consultancy to one funded by software license sales.

Thank you, Peter M”

A | A big question, I thought these would be some good places to start.

There are really two questions here.

  • How do I make the jump from big company to small, entrepreneurial, startup?
  • How can a company move from a consulting to a product business?

The short answer to the second question is you really have to commit; consulting revenue is very addictive!

Here are three talks that will help you think about the challenges you will encounter with both:

Do worry, be happy // Peldi Guilizzoni (Founder/CEO, Balsamiq)

Early stage businesses are not like big companies. They do things differently there! This talk, by Peldi at Balsamiq, is almost 10 years old. He moved from Adobe to run his own startup to be run in his spare time from his back bedroom. Things didn’t turn out as planned.  (All Peldi’s other talks are great as well!)

Consultant Developer to Unhappy Product CEO // Peter Coppinger (Founder, Teamwork)

Peter Coppinger wasn’t a big company guy, he has always been an entrepreneur though his first company was a software consultancy. Like every single project management tool business on the planet, he built a tool to help his team manage projects as the existing solutions didn’t work for them. This talk covers some interesting insights into changing his mindset in making this move as well as discussing some of the mistakes he made on the way.

The Evolution of a SaaS Marketing Team // Andrus Purde (Founder, Outfunnel)

I like this talk because, although it is about the evolution of marketing at Pipedrive, the principles Andrus discusses are very relevant to all parts of a growing software business. What works when you are small does not work when you are big. There are lots of nice ideas about the roles and qualities leaders need at different stages too.

If you’ve found this useful, tell us (and everyone else) what you think.  If this has given you your own questions you want to ask, get in touch and we can help steer you towards some answers!


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