product

Taking equity in startups as a consulting firm

I’ve been asked by a number of design agencies, development shops, and other consultants how they can work with startups. Part of this is understanding what types of services startups need and what their budget is. The other part is these firms thinking of themselves as investors, and wanting to have a piece of a product company that may pay off beyond just hourly consulting fees. Much of the material is slanted towards design services, but is generally applicable to any service provider. Early stage tech startups don’t have a large budget for brand design, and since their customers and...

You Can’t Outsource Product

One of the many tricky things about building a web startup is that you can’t outsource product. As a web startup, your web or mobile app is your company, your sole purpose for existing. Why do you think you can outsource it? When you outsource building your product, your company is missing out on most of the important things that go into building a successful company. Sure, you can hire freelancers or a consulting shop to build you something. And that’s what you’ll get: something. As long as you keep paying the bills, the typical consulting shop will write code...

Moving from selling services to selling product

Moving from services work to having a successful product is probably one of the hardest things to do. Well, perhaps no harder than doing any startup from scratch, but the benefit in doing it from a services company is that you have a built-in way to bootstrap yourself. As a single consultant or small development shop, you work for a number of clients on different projects. You might become known as an “X” shop, where X is some particular framework or programming language, being the go-to team when the complex or large projects come up. You get to learn about...